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Library / Real Estate / Construction

Help homeowners in foreclosure Get Mediation

Thousands of foreclosures filed against homeowners in the past three years are sitting in limbo. These cases will be stuck for a while due to the fact that banks are not filing the required court papers that trigger a homeowner’s right to meet with a lender in a court-supervised settlement conference.

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Oregon House Approves Foreclosure Mediation Expansion

Oregon House approved an expansion of the foreclosure mediation program the Legislature created last year which had failed to gain traction after changes in the legal landscape. “When the Legislature created the mediation program a year ago, most foreclosures occurred outside the court system.” Most foreclosures pursued by lenders are now in court. Now, under the new Senate Bill 558A, the program would apply to foreclosures pursued by lenders in courts.

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Oregon's Foreclosure Mediation Law

Big changes are taking place suggesting that large national loan servicers could exploit an exemption in the foreclosure mediation law Oregon lawmakers are currently debating intended for local banks and credit unions: “This announcement and the increasing number of those like it represent what’s very likely the front end of a massive unloading of home loans from big banks like Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo to a new wave of non-bank investment firms focused on servicing ‘distressed’ accounts.”

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Exciting New “Discoveries”

The Legislature is authorized under Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.710 to develop form interrogatories. In the past, the Council has approved sets of interrogatories for general use in civil cases, unlimited civil cases, and specialized sets for various types of law that are commonly practiced … However, as of January 1, 2013, the Judicial Council approved a NEW set of form interrogatories specifically designed for use in litigating construction and construction defect cases.

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Farm Loan Mediation Requests Drop Again

For the past year, mediation requests for troubled loans have declined about 5 percent. These mediation requests typically involve a farmer who has encountered serious financial trouble and cannot repay loans. Dick Senese, senior associate dean of the University of Minnesota Extension, notes that mediation requests have fallen from 3,100 the previous year to just over 2,900.

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Thousand Oaks Council Will Consider Mediation

Miller Ranch Luxury Home Development project is on hold so the developers have asked the Thousand Oaks City Council for help. They’ve asked Andy Fox who is both a professional mediator and the assistant fire chief “to serve as a facilitator during mediation meetings between the developers and neighbors opposed to the project.”

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Banks to Pay $8.5 Billion in Foreclosure Settlement

Brokered by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the settlement is coined “agreement in principle.” The settlement has a component that makes direct payments to borrowers as well as a component that offers assistance to borrowers through loan modifications, forgiveness, and deficiency judgments.

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Recovering After the Storm

The homes, vehicles, and other property of many Americans have been damaged during Sandy. One state, to help its citizens through the insurance claims process, the Connecticut Insurance Department created a “Sandy” resource page with a listing of toll-free claims phone numbers for more than 100 insurance companies for policyholders to use when filing a claim. There are several tips to help navigate the insurance claims filing process.

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