Here is another in a series of updates on the development of Foreclosure Mediation in the United States by Mediate.com 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)