As someone who reports on foreclosure mediation around the country, I am thankful for the work of the Department of Justice and the National Consumer Law Center, which have both published extensive reports on the benefits of foreclosure mediation in recent weeks. The DOJ’s report is a follow-up on an Access to Justice Initiative conference RSI attended last year, which focused on how foreclosure mediation programs can be evaluated for their effectiveness. The NCLC report is the work of Geoff Walsh, a consumer lawyer who focuses on the foreclosure crisis and how consumers benefit from mediation programs that address foreclosures and provide a mechanism for servicer accountability. Walsh also helpfully demonstrates (on pages 33-41) how foreclosure mediation does not have to cost states too much and does not have to extend the foreclosure timeline.
While I agree with most of the assessment these reports provide, I’d like to highlight a couple of points – based on RSI’s experience and expertise in the court ADR field – with which I disagree. (more…)