With the Mortgage Bankers Association reporting this month that about 10 percent of all home loans are at least 60 days in arrears, foreclosure mediation is emerging as a potential response in an effort to keep borrowers in their homes. Court-ordered mediation may be the best last option for thousands of homeowners in the foreclosure pipeline, as programs targeting the estimated 6 million delinquent home loans have been slow to put a dent in the crisis. “Foreclosure mediations hold out the hope of removing major obstacles that have hindered efforts to slow the spread of the foreclosure epidemic,” says Geoff Walsh, a staff attorney specializing in housing, foreclosure and bankruptcy issues for the National Consumer Law Center in Washington, D.C. The Home Affordable Modification Program, President Obama’s $75 billion initiative to prevent foreclosures begun last March, has granted 300,000 permanent modifications through April, according to the program’s latest report, released May 17. The report also estimates 3.275 million delinquent loans are eligible for the program. In addition, HOPE NOW, an alliance of 38 private lenders started in 2007, reported in April that 2.9 million permanent home loan modifications had been offered since the program began. | Read More