Congressman Tries To Create National Mandatory Court-Ordered Mediation For Foreclosure Cases

From the Mediation Matters Blog of Steve Mehta.

With the housing crisis showing no immediate sign of relief, Congressman Alan Grayson from Orlando, Florida is trying to promote a national court-ordered mediation program that would require both sides in a home foreclosure process to mediate their dispute.

Grayson said a good solution to the foreclosure crisis would be to require mandatory mediation on both sides. “Give it 45 days to work,” he said. “It’s an unconventional solution to the problem that has worked.” The Florida courts have already instituted such a plan with success. Last year, Seminole County began a court-ordered mediation program. Other Florida courts have followed suit. In one situation, Judge Belvin Perry Jr., chief justice of the Ninth Judicial Court in Orange County, enlisted the support of mediators from a local Bar Association, who agreed to provide mediation services at reduced fees.

Grayson said “When a homeowner is at risk of foreclosure, it makes sense to bring lenders to the table and attempt to work out – in good faith – a deal that saves the mortgage for the lender, the home for the family, and the neighborhood value for the community,” Grayson wrote. “Many lenders, I am told, have been unresponsive, institutionally unequipped to work with homeowners to save these deals even when it makes financial sense for all parties to do so. Mandatory mediation for owner-occupied mortgage foreclosures would help to overcome these hurdles.”

The concept of mandatory mediation is no stranger to the California Court system. Indeed, Los Angeles Superior Court has long had a program of mandatory or quasi-mandatory mediation that has had tremendous success in resolving an enormous amount of cases and easing the burden on the judicial system.  Given the enormity of the potential housing crisis, if this initiative gains steam in the legislature, it would be important for mediators, judges, and legislators to provide information to Congress so that some of the lessons that have been discovered from court programs can be applied to foreclosure mediation program.
This article was based upon an article published in Florida’s The


Steve Mehta

Steven G. Mehta is an attorney and mediator providing unique mediation services in a variety of types of civil litigation. His ability to understand the human process and complex emotional issues involved in legal negotiations enables him to effectively assist the parties in obtaining the best possible results during mediation.… MORE >

Featured Mediators

View all

Read these next


Overwork and Conflict

Conflict Remedy Blog by Lorraine SegalOverwork can add fuel to conflicts. Are you feeling angry and put upon at work? Are you having negative interactions and conflict over relatively small...

By Lorraine Segal

Who’s Been Getting More From Mediation?

CMP Resolution Blog by Lesley Allport and Katherine Graham.In many organisations, mediation plays only a limited part, and is done as an activity to resolve a specific conflict. But mediation...

By Katherine Graham

Restorative Justice For Juvenile Delinquency

This is the recounting of a juvenile offense mediation case, conducted by a Juvenile Court-sponsored Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) near Portland, Oregon. The offense terrorized many of the victims, causing...

By Marty Price

Find a Mediator