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Articulated Purposes and Objectives for Foreclosure Mediation Programs

Heather Scheiwe Kulp, September 6th, 2011

Foreclosure mediation and mitigation programs began appearing in local, state, and national contexts in response to the foreclosure crisis. As the crisis persists, more states have adopted or are looking to adopt such programs as a way to ensure borrowers and lenders sit down together to discuss the foreclosure at hand.

Resolution Systems Institute has long advocated that mediation programs begin their program development process by establishing clear, articulated goals. This will inform every other part of the program, including the standards by which the program will be evaluated later. So, RSI is quite interested in how the goals of the program have shaped foreclosure mediation process and outcomes.

Most legislative or administrative foreclosure mediation programs state purposes behind the creation of the program. Interestingly, even court programs that are supposed to be outcome-neutral state a particular intended outcome (other than judicial efficiency) for the program.

Below is a list of purposes and the states or localities that articulate that purpose.  Where a program cites more than one purpose, the program is included under multiple categories. Note that the stated purposes are from publicly-available sources and may not reflect what is actually happening in the programs. For a more comprehensive summary, including citations and specific language from the citations, stay tuned to CourtADR.org’s special topics page on foreclosure mediation.

No Enumerated Purpose

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • D.C.
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Oregon

Ensure Communication

  • Florida
  • Kentucky (Louisville)
  • Massachusetts (Boston)
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Vermont

Improve Efficiency and Timeliness

  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico (1st District)
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania

Assist Borrowers

  • Illinois (Cook County)
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Washington

Stabilize Communities

  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island

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One Response to “Articulated Purposes and Objectives for Foreclosure Mediation Programs”

  1. Kent Lawrence says:

    The term “mediation” can easily be corrupted by some of these, i.e. assist borrowers and stabilize communities. Those two might in fact, or perception – which can turn into a fact, result in “a thumb on the scale” and true good faith efforts to ensure communication and improve efficiency and timeliness. The Nevada current court fight is an example of such corruption of what, in common parlance, “mediation” entails.

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