Diane Thompson of the National Consumer Law Center made a point that has gone overlooked. She said that you can get much better compliance on loan modifications if you actually fund mediation programs and legal services attorneys. There are mandatory mediation programs up and running in Philadelphia and New York, and they have been far more successful in preventing foreclosures – by about 50%, according to Thompson. It’s just a matter of getting the servicers into these mediation programs instead of hoping they will initiate modifications on their own.
Diane E. Thompson has represented low-income homeowners since 1994. She currently works of counsel for the National Consumer Law Center. From 1994 to 2007, Ms. Thompson represented individual low-income homeowners in East St. Louis at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. While at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, Ms. Thompson served as the Homeownership Specialist, providing assistance to casehandlers representing homeowners in 65 counties in downstate Illinois, and the Supervising Attorney of the Housing and Consumer unit of the East St. Louis office. She has served on the boards of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council. She was a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board from 2003-2005. Between 1995 and 2001, Ms. Thompson served as corporate counsel to the largest private nonprofit affordable housing provider in the East St. Louis metropolitan area. She received her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D. from New York University.