Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Latest Mortgage Mediation Lesson

The Latest Mortgage Mediation Lesson: "Maryland housing officials told a House of Delegates panel yesterday that despite the state’s 33,000 active foreclosures they had only completed 317 mediations—just shy of one percent. The lackluster performance prompted panel members to ask whether the program justified its overhead. The short answer is, “No, not if Maryland requires homeowners to opt-in.”

There is nothing wrong with Maryland’s foreclosure mediation program. For homeowners that participate, things look pretty good—one third received a loan modification or otherwise reached a settlement. The figure is lower than success rates in other jurisdictions, but all programs so far have seen settlement rates rise as they matured.

The problem is the 99 percent of homeowners facing foreclosures that don’t participate. There are many reasons for why homeowners don’t opt-in for mediation. They range from the practical (homeowners in foreclosures receive a deluge of offers for assistance, many of them spurious,"

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