Connecticut Foreclosure Mediation Program Extended Through 2019
On May 27, The Hartford Courant published an article titled House Overwhelmingly Approves Extension Of Foreclosure Mediation.
House Overwhelmingly Approves Extension Of Foreclosure Mediation
HARTFORD — The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to extend the state’s foreclosure mediation through 2019, a compromise bill accepted by banking lobbyists.
The vote was 140-2 in favor of the bill, which still needs a vote in the Senate.
Continuing the program costs about $6.7 million a year to pay for salaries and benefits for 51 state employees.
However, since the number of new cases entering mediation has been falling sharply, it’s possible some of those employees could be transferred to other jobs or let go, if union contracts allow it. The bill says, “The size of such program shall be determined by available funding and the number and need of participants in such program.”
The program employs 25 mediation specialists, nine case-flow coordinators and 16 office clerks.
The mediation program, which lenders must participate in if a borrower asks, began in 2008 and was set to expire at the end of June next year.
“Although the number of homes in foreclosure has thankfully decreased since 2008, there are many Connecticut families who still depend on these services,. said Rep. Matthew Lesser, D-Middletown. “I am thankful for the overwhelming support this bill has received, and hope for a vote in the Senate soon.”
Cases would not have to be resolved before July 1, 2019, the proposed end of the program. Instead, requests for mediation must be filed by that date, and those pending cases would continue until a settlement was reached.
Only 63 percent of those who were in the mediation program over the 18 months ending in December completed the process during that time, but of those who did, 72 percent got to keep their homes.
On average in Connecticut, homes that are foreclosed on without going through mediation take a year and 63 days to complete the process. Homes that are covered by the mediation program take two years and 104 days to complete a foreclosure.
About 45 percent of eligible homeowners do not sign up for mediation, though the instructions on how to do so are given with foreclosure summons.
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