“Effort To Save Homes Lags”
The headline should read:
“Mediation Will Not Solve The Foreclosure Crisis And it May Make Things Worse For Homeowners”
The full text of the article, in which I am quoted, can be found below, and I encourage everyone involved in foreclosure to read the article in full
I have several concerns related to the mediation process in foreclosure. First, although the Supreme Court rules mandate that the lender’s representative appear at the mediation and have full settlement authority, many of these lenders are in fact going to be constrained by the current modification requirements that prevent any significant number of modifications from being approved. The Supreme Court can order mediation, but only federal intervention can force a change in the modification parameters that will allow them to be successful in any meaningful numbers. Accordingly, I expect the response from lenders to the Supreme Court’s new rules will be, “You can force us to the mediation table, but you cannot force any meaningful mediation to occur.”
A second issue that any party considering a modification must consider whether the modification is issued in mediation or outside mediation is the modifications I have seen thus far do not offer any significant reduction for the homeowner. While any bit of relief is helpful, buried in the small print of most modifications is language that forces the homeowner to give up many of the rights and defenses that homeowner may have in a typical foreclosure defense. As a result, lawyers and their clients need to think long and hard before agreeing to any modification, either in mediation or not.
Bottom line is while mediation may relieve some of the pressure on courts….at least for the short term…mediation will do precious little to solve the fundamental problems that exist within the system.