This is another in a series of updates on home foreclosure mediation in the United States by Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat.
Update on Home Foreclosure Mediation
Oregon’s foreclosure mediation program continues to ramp up, with 400 sessions in August, the busiest month yet. Since Oregon’s new legislation went into place last summer, over 2,200 homeowners have engaged in mediation, a participation rate of 22%. The number of cases ending with agreements and without agreements are just about even. However, 80% of the homeowner participants report in surveys that they were satisfied with the process, even without a favorable outcome. Significantly, 98% of lenders were at least neutral about the process, with 60% reporting they were either satisfied or very satisfied. The Oregonian (September 30, 2014)
Despite litigation by seven large banks trying to invalidated the mortgage foreclosure ordinance of Lynn, Massachusetts, small local banks are complying with the law and resolving foreclosure cases, which Lynn’s attorneys are using in their legal defense. Similar litigation continues against mediation ordinances in Worcester and Springfield. ItemLive.com (September 13, 2014); 22News (September 4, 2014)
Lake County, Illinois, has had some form of success in two-thirds of the cases in its Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program that began late in 2013. Lake County News-Sun (August 10, 2014)
Macon County, Illinois, officials have filed an application with the Illinois supreme court seeking to begin a mortgage foreclosure mediation program similar to those in other counties across the state. Funding would come from a grant from the state attorney general’s office and possibly from additional filing fees. Herald-Review.com (October 28, 2014)
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.