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DC Homeowners to Get Longer Mediation Times

Tuesday, July, 3, 2012

DC lawmakers are thinking about doubling the mediation time from its current 90 days to 180 days for homeowners who were provided with "defective" default notices. Although not a law yet, the idea is getting backing from Mayor Vincent Gray and his administration, consumer advocates, and even auctioneers. A member for the D.C. council said that many other lawmakers are predisposed to passing the bill.

New Law Won't Just Increase Civil Mediation Time


This law won't just give these homeowners some extra time to figure out what to do. It will also grant them the same rights as those who received flawed foreclosure letters. The extended mediation period may also open the door to other measures taken on behalf of homeowners. For example, Christopher Weaver of D.C.'s Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking suggested that the District will help both borrows and lenders--even though federal regulators are also dealing with these same two groups. In addition, it is rumored that District legislators may try and inject the local judicial system into the foreclosure process, adding another layer of protection for both parties. Foreclosures currently happen outside the judicial system.

New Mediation Law Will Help Protect Homeowners


Local lawmakers have already been overhauling how foreclosures are done. Jennifer Lavallee of the Legal Aid Society of D.C. claims that the old laws allowed lenders to foreclose en masse. Now, she says, each foreclosure must be justified and accounted for. Any new laws will move forward with this kind of accountability as its foundation.


Auctioneers claim that current foreclosure laws have too many loopholes and pitfalls. These cause foreclosure sales to be a big risk for banks. This, in turn, has slowed the District's foreclosure sales almost to a halt.


Lack of foreclosure sales doesn't work out for anybody. The increased mediation times are expected to help remedy the situation. In addition, if the courts are added to the process, all involved parties may be expected to show evidence of good faith.