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March 2, 2012     Cape Gazette
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March 2, 2012

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Cape Gazette BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE FRIDAY, MAREH 2- MONDAY, MARCH 5, 2012 49 A6 Biden, bipartisan coalition mark launch of foreclosure mediation program Attorney General Beau Biden legislative session, that address was recently joined by a biparti- Delaware's foreclosure crisis. san coalition of legislators and That legislation strengthened the advocates to mark the launch of state's existing voluntary media- Delaware's mandatory foreclo- tion program in several key ways. sure mediation program. Mediatio.n is no longer volun- The program, which became tary. When a bank files a foreclo- operational in late January, was sure complaint, the law now re- established last year as part of a quires that lenders and borrow- legislative package developed by ers sit down together and have a Biden's office and legislators to meaningful conversation about a respond to the foreclosure crisis payment plan or other options in Delaware. It is modeled after before a foreclosure can proceed. successful programs in other It eliminates hhe income quali- states and jurisdictions, includ- fication for homeowners and es- ing the City of Philadelphia and tablishes a filing fee; paid by the the state of Connecticut. lender, to fund the program. "The foreclosure crisis has im- It extends the time a home- pacted Delaware families up and owner has to respond to a fore- down the state," Biden said."Los- closure complaint. Previously, ing a home to foreclosure can be homeowners had 20 days to re- devastating, and borrowers de- spond to a foreclosure com- serve the opportunity to meet plaint. Under the new program, face-to-face with their lender the foreclosure process is put on and explore all available alterna- hold when a mediation confer- tives. Mandatory mediation can ence is scheduled, and a lender help people stay in their homes, cannot seek judgment until after and that's better for families, the mediation conference takes lenders and the community." place. Recent years have seen a The mandatory foreclosure record pace of foreclosures in mediation program serves Delaware, with more than 25,000 Delawareans who own a one- to foreclosure filings since 2007. four-unit home, who reside in The state experienced a record- the home as their primary resi- setting year in 2010 with more dence, and whose mortgage was than 6,400 filings. Biden's office foreclosed upon on or after ]an. and legislators produced a pack- 19. The program runs through age of bills, passed during the last January 2014. State Rep. Mike Ramone, R- Middle Run V lley, a prime House sponsor the bill estab- lishing the foreclqsure mediation program, said, "I n thrilled that we are rolling this very im- portant progr .arn t As I have stat- ed before, the foreclosure process is our new reality, unfor- tunately. This program is vital to providing those many families Robert 1;. Gilligan, D:Sherwood faced with the painful prospect Park. of losing their homes with the Eligible homeowners will be opportunity of working with a provided with detailedinforma- mediator - something the may tion about the foreclosure medi- not normally have had the ation program when a foreclo- chance to do prior to this bill be- sure is filed against them. ing enacted last year. Mediation Homeowners can learn more has been a viable option in help- about this program by calling the Attorney General's Mortgage ing families in other areas. It is Hotline at 800-220-5424, email- my hope that Delawareans in a ing similar situation will find the help they need with this new or going to www.attorneygener- program." al.delawar&gov/mortgagefore- The legislation was also spon- closure or www.deforeclosure- sored by House Speaker Rep. PET ODOR & STAIN REMOVAL EXPERTSI. P.U.R.T- Pet Urine Removal Treatment Pets are Your Best Friend... Not Your Carpet's Natalie Rose Modds Open