Friday, March 18, 2011

Delaware bill would aid struggling homeowners

DOVER -- Delaware homeowners facing foreclosure would go into automatic mediation proceedings to modify mortgage terms and possibly avert losing their houses under legislation proposed Monday in the General Assembly.

Currently, Delaware has voluntary mediation programs for homeowners behind on their mortgage payments to try negotiate with their banks, but some have several strings attached, such as requiring the owner to be currently employed.

Foreclosure-reform legislation being pushed by Attorney General

Beau Biden and a bipartisan group of lawmakers would pause foreclosure litigation between 45 and 75 days after a lender filed a foreclosure complaint for mediation to occur.

"The bill requires that lenders and borrowers sit down face to face, one on one and have a meaningful conversation about a repayment plan or other options before a foreclosure may go forward," Biden said during a news conference at Legislative Hall.

Lawmakers from both parties are pushing a five-bill package to stave off mounting foreclosures, which state records show rose to a record 6,457 in Delaware in 2010, breaking the previous record of 6,157 set in 2009.

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