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Bills to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure Passed Through Committee



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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
The Washington State Legislature deliberated on two legislative bills meant to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and also help them understand their options. The bills were also designed to help reduce the number of foreclosure cases in the region and offer advice to borrowers facing debt and mortgage problems.

To help prevent the number of foreclosed homes in Seattle and in the rest of the state from further increasing, bills designed to initiate a mediation process for homeowners facing foreclosures were passed through the Senate and House committee of the state. The bills underwent several changes and were eventually passed. It garnered support from the banking industry along the way, with anti-poverty groups also providing their support to the measures.

According to lawmakers, the bills will help homeowners cope better with the process of foreclosures, which has left most of them confused and frustrated, and hopefully prevent further increases in cases of foreclosed homes in Washington. They also stated that other states have implemented mediation processes and most of them had been successful, hence the decision to formulate one in Washington.

Substitute bills were recently submitted to the committee in lieu of the original measures designed to avoid foreclosure and provide assistance to homeowners. The changes made to the original bills took into consideration issues that were discussed during negotiations with banks and anti-poverty advocacy groups, lawmakers have revealed. One of the notable changes was in relation to a provision regarding third party mediation.

In the original bill, owners of foreclosure homes would have been allowed to ask for mediation even without referrals. The substitute measure, however, provides that a home counselor or a lawyer will be allowed to refer a property owner to mediation. This would also mean that a lender can work out alternative options with a third party representing the borrower facing foreclosure.

The substitute measures also require lenders to pay a fee of $250 for every property that would be foreclosed. The money will reportedly be used to finance home counseling operations in Washington that will hopefully increase the chances of residents to avoid foreclosure. Bankers have expressed their support to the substitute bills that took into consideration suggestions from the industry.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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