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<xTITLE>Update on Home Foreclosure Mediation</xTITLE>

Update on Home Foreclosure Mediation

by Keith Seat
November 2013 Keith Seat

Here is another in a series of updates on the development of Foreclosure Mediation in the United States by News Editor, Keith Seat.

Rhode Island has enacted legislation establishing a mortgage foreclosure mediation program in which homeowners must be given the opportunity to mediate prior to foreclosure.  If there is no resolution during mediation, the mediator must certify that the lender participated in good faith before foreclosure can proceed.  The state-wide mediation law, which expires in five years, preempts local foreclosure mediation ordinances, which is expected to eliminate the confusion of differing requirements in cities and towns.  NuWire Investor (September 12, 2013); Foreclosure Mediation Law

A federal district court in Rhode Island dissolved its injunction preventing foreclosures and evictions in 825 foreclosure cases as required by the appellate court, but immediately imposed a stay preventing filings in the cases while determining an appropriate process for dealing with them.  The court emphasized that its mediation program remains in full force and all parties are expected to participate fully.  Providence Journal (September 4, 2013)

New legislation in Nevada modifies the state’s Foreclosure Mediation Program by automatically enrolling homeowners in the program when they receive an initial notice of default.  While homeowners can still opt out of the mediation program, officials are hopeful that automatic enrollment will greatly increase its use.  The mediation program has been used by only about 15 percent of those eligible, although that still amounts to 18,000 borrowers since it began in 2009.  Houston Chronicle (September 28, 2013); MyNews3 (September 26, 2013)

The Nevada Supreme Court rejected efforts by a nonprofit to obtain personal identifying data in mediations from the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program due to confidentiality.  Las Vegas Review-Journal (October 31, 2013)

Oregon’s newly expanded mortgage foreclosure mediation program is moving forward and now has 100 mediations scheduled in November and December.  Lenders have referred over 1,700 pending foreclosures to the program as they ramp up under the new law.  About 25-30 percent of borrowers are agreeing to participate and paying their share of the fee for the program.  OregonLive (October 29, 2013); OregonLive (September 18, 2013)


Keith L. Seat is a full-time mediator and arbitrator who can effectively assist parties in resolving a wide range of telecommunications, antitrust and other commercial disputes. With over twenty years of legal experience as a mediator, arbitrator, litigator, advocate before executive branch agencies, and key staffer in the legislative and judicial branches, Mr. Seat brings a wealth of experience to his work as a mediator and arbitrator to help parties reach successful resolutions of complex disputes.

Mr. Seat began his legal career in a federal clerkship with U.S. District Judge William H. Becker, and then litigated antitrust and commercial disputes for many years at a major Washington law firm, Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White, where he first worked on telecom and technology issues. In 1993, Mr. Seat was named General Counsel of the Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he served for four years, playing a significant role in the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Returning to the private sector in 1997, Mr. Seat rounded out his experience with a senior in-house counsel position at MCI, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications firms. At MCI, he gained a first-hand appreciation for the important perspective brought to issues and disputes by in-house decision-makers. Mr. Seat also deepened his knowledge of telecom issues and gained experience addressing competition-related issues in the corporate setting, as well as helping resolve disputes among large organizations.

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