Homeowners could have help

Like him or not, you have to give Gov. Jack Markell and his administration credit for trying to spur the state’s economy.

Last Thursday, Sept. 10, Markell, Superior Court President Judge James Vaughn Jr. and members of the Mediation Program Steering Committee jointly announced the establishment of the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program. The program will allow homeowners to participate in a court mediation process with their lenders to find a mutually-satisfactory resolution to keep homeowners in their homes and the lenders satisfied with the payment.

“So many families facing foreclosure did everything right,” said Markell. They played by the rules, they worked hard, but fell victim to the national recession. Helping them stay in their homes is good for the economy and good for Delaware’s families. Delaware is a state of neighbors. When we see a problem, we come together to solve it.”

This is a solid idea — for all sides. Recent national news reports suggest that many homeowners who have received modifications from their lenders have actually ended up assuming more debt and facing higher payments than before. And many lenders are seeing no money come in for homes because homeowners are unable to keep up with payments. This is a method where a settlement can be reached between the parties, and both sides have a court system monitoring the progress to ensure that neither party gets the short end of the stick.

“The residential mortgage foreclosure mediation program which has been adopted by the Court represents the work of both lenders and homeowners,” said Vaughn. “With the assistance of housing counselors, the program gives homeowners an opportunity to negotiate an alternative to foreclosure, without affecting substantial rights of lenders.”

For more information about the programs available in Delaware to assist homeowners facing foreclosure, visit www.DEForeclosureHelp.org online, or call the Attorney General’s Foreclosure Hotline at 800-220-5424.