Foreclosure Mediation Articles
The article is drawn from my experience as a mediator living in a community with other residents.
One great benefit of evaluating eight programs with different approaches to resolving the same cases is that it allowed me to uncover program design factors and other variables that promote program success.
This new evaluation looks at four-plus years of data across eight different programs to provide a comprehensive analysis of foreclosure mediation in Illinois, and to highlight how differences in program models impacted outcomes.
I have fallen in love with mediation in this position. I enjoy the satisfaction of making people feel heard and working through issues.
There is room in our field for a broad spectrum of mediation approaches. We should celebrate innovation and a greater diversity, rather than disparage the methods of others. This article rebuts Bush and Folger’s article: "Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination."
For foreclosure mediation programs, the data can tell the story of how homeowners are affected by changes to the program.
It is the sense of procedural justice where mediation’s value lies for homeowners who ultimately end up moving out of their homes.
It is very important to provide information to parties in mediation so that they can be fully informed about their rights and what they are agreeing to. But there are better ways of doing this than to change the role of the mediator.
I agree with many other colleagues that going forward there should be a focus on public awareness, the training and licensing of mediators, but also, and maybe most importantly, the training of attorneys who will be using mediation. I say this because mediation is used when there is a dispute, so we know that litigation and mediation will almost always go hand in hand, and will therefore, almost always involve attorneys. So bear with me as I discuss the rationale for this thought process on the future of mediation and two recent observations that have led me to this conclusion.
In October 2014, the Connecticut Judicial Branch released an evaluation of its Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program. The Connecticut study evaluates six years of foreclosure mediation program data, dating from the program’s inception in 2008. As RSI prepares the first evaluation of Illinois’ six foreclosure mediation incubation programs, the earliest of which began accepting cases in December 2013, it’s interesting to review Connecticut’s data and how the program has evolved over time.
RSI started running three foreclosure mediation programs in 2014, which means we’ve spent a lot of time over the last year thinking about how to make mediation services more accessible and increase program usage rates. Such issues can be a challenge and often require creativity, especially with limited resources. Here’s what we’ve learned.
Last year perhaps the most visible trend in court ADR was the courts’ use of mediation to address truly large-scale crises. From the mediators who helped opposing groups reach the Grand Bargain that led Detroit out of bankruptcy, to the mediations being used to address thousands of insurance claims that remain from Hurricane Sandy, courts essentially created ad-hoc ADR programs to respond to major crises.
A lot of the cases that go through RSI’s foreclosure mediation programs end with a temporary loan modification – a trial payment plan in which the homeowner pays a new mortgage amount for a few months. If the homeowner makes the payments on time and in full during the trial period, the homeowner and bank agree to make the modification permanent.
This is another in a series of updates on home foreclosure mediation in the United States by Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat.
This is another in a series up updates on the development of home foreclosure mediation in the United States by Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat.
Recently, the foreclosure mediation team at RSI has been thinking a lot about foreclosure scams and mortgage modification fraud. Now that we’ve launched foreclosure mediation programs in Lake, Kane and Winnebago Counties here in Illinois, we’ve been focusing on how to provide quality housing counseling and mediation services and get the word out to the public that these services exist.
This is another in a series of articles by Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat, updating readers on the development of foreclosure mediation in the United States.
In 2009 the Maine Legislature established the Foreclosure Diversion Program (“FDP”) in the Maine Judicial Branch. It affords a valuable opportunity for homeowners and lenders to consider mutually beneficial alternatives to foreclosure. The FDP continues to see a high level of activity. In 2013, the FDP conducted 2,518 mediation sessions in 1,697 foreclosure cases. A total of 4,756 foreclosure cases were filed in Maine in 2013, an increase from the 4,339 cases filed in 2012.
When Resolution Systems Institute received a grant from the Illinois Attorney General to develop foreclosure mediation programs across the state, it was our opportunity to practice what we preach. From RSI’s inception, we’ve been telling courts that they need to monitor and evaluate their mediation programs to ensure that they’re providing quality services to those who come to them to resolve disputes. We’ve also been urging them to incorporate the development of a monitoring and evaluation system into their program design process.
This is another in a series on the development of foreclosure mediation in the United States by Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat. Please also be sure to see www.mediate.com/Foreclosure.
RSI has selected “Caseload Manager” to provide online cloud-based case management services for approximately 10,000 annual Illinois foreclosure mediation cases. Caseload Manager is the world's leading secure, cloud-based ADR case management service that, according to CEO James C. Melamed, J.D., “allows the right people to see the right information.”
This is another in a series of updates on the development of home foreclosure mediation in the United States by Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat.
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.
Imagine you are an arbitrator being asked to decide on the validity of a flawed international arbitration agreement. The parties have spent great time and effort negotiating and finally agreeing on the arbitration agreement in question. The parties’ representatives engaged in marathon negotiation sessions.
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Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected a non-profit organization’s request to examine records created as part of the state’s Foreclosure Mediation Program. Non-profit group Civil Rights for Seniors reportedly sought the records using the Nevada Public Records Act.