In an obvious effort to help curtail and prevent foreclosure in Boston City,
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is proposing to require mortgage banks to get into a face-to-face mediation with homeowners before actually foreclosing them. The proposal would be voted by the Boston City Council next week. If enacted by the city council, it would provide the city government with the necessary authority to establish a mediation program that would control continuously rising foreclosure in this part of Massachusetts.
After the approval by the city council, the home-rule petition needs to get approval from the state legislature. In a statement, Mayor Menino said the ordinance would require mortgage lenders and other home loan servicers to meet personally with troubled homeowners to explore possible options to avoid foreclosure. The mayor said the proposal would also provide relief to homeowners who have been complaining about how they could not get to talk with anyone from banks regarding their financial situations. The mediations, he added, would be of advantage to Boston households, especially during harsh financial times.
Under the planned ordinance, banks would bear any cost of the mediation process. A troubled homeowner would get assistance from assigned housing counselors before any scheduled mediation. Thus, every homeowner who is going to a mediation session would fully understand available options and at the same time prepare well for the meeting.
For their part, mortgage banks would then be required to send representatives who would have the appropriate authority to establish necessary decisions during mediation. In the proposed meeting, all parties involved would be gathered to talk about possible solutions to any foreclosure case. This way, possible foreclosure of homes could be effectively avoided.
The Department of Neighborhood Development would also take part in the proposed mediations. The agency would provide necessary assistance through several of its support staff, who would be assigned to particular foreclosure cases.
There had been up to 776 foreclosed homes in Boston alone from January to October of this year. The figure is about 17% higher compared to the number of foreclosures in the city in the same period last year. Boston has had about 3,600 foreclosures since it started tracking an increase in the volume of foreclosed homes in 2006. what is shuttle mediation