I volunteer with the kitsap DRC. I have my first referral from dept of Commerce. The Kitsap DRC was setting up the mediation for me. It's tentatively set for 10/18.

However, the bank won't sign the DRC's mediation agreement. their attorney says the bank is not required to sign by the statute & they object to the stipulation that imunity under RCW 7.75.100 applies.

I've been advised that all the DRC's in Reswa, including Kitsap DRC will decline to mediate without the signed mediation agreement. So I'm being asked to do the mediation as a private mediator.

Are there other's in my position? Are you taking the referral or sticking with Reswa's stance?

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Looks like the lender's attorneys have come upon a plan to keep this program from getting off the ground. The legislature is meeting in special session beginning 11/28 to work on budget cuts.  Maybe Commerce can get an immunity clause added to the FFA legislation.  But probably not.

 

Douglas,

Not sure what the intent is of what we're seeing - hopefully we'll be able to have that conversation.

Groundwork is being done by a number of stakeholder organizations (including the ADR Section among several interested WSBA sections) for a revision bill to be introduced this session, notwithstanding it's a short one. It will likely have an immunity provision. Our information is we can get legislative consideration of it this session.

On the other hand,  it would seem that RCW 7.75.100 applies to DRCs and their volunteers regardless of whether the lender stipulates in a Mediation Agreement or not.  Would the lenders sign a Mediation Agreement without the stipulation?
I agree. However, it appears that RESWA & its member DRC's don't want to rely on that analysis

It's essential that FFA mediators continue to share this information with each other.

Identifying recalcitrant bank/lawyers will be essential to providing them with uniform (possibly unsatisfying?) results may be the shortest route to a "new", cooperative approach.

 

All respect - David K. Hiscock

Ballard Law Office 206-789-9551

Edit - recalcitrant "parties"; by now it should be obvious this conduct is available to both sides.

Perhaps this can be picked up during the IFM conf call.

Something to be filed under "what gets rewarded gets repeated"

Ask for the anonymized certification transmittal memo, where the borrower threatened to file complaints against not just the mediator, but also staff at the Department, housing counselor, former counsel, bene counsel (and their staff) as well as rep from AG's office.

All respect - David K. Hiscock

Ballard Law Office 206-789-9551

I had a mediation on Oct. 7 where the attorneys (yes there were 2 of them) refused to sign the mediation agreement.  I finally got them to sign it by suggesting that they sign but note there objection on the document.  That seemed to make them feel better.

J. Eiler

DRC's were interested in mediation agreements in FFA mediations because they feel compelled by Chapter 7.07 RCW to have one.

I think it's worthwhile for any of the private-practice mediators to be really clear what you're wanting a mediation agreement for. "Because I've always done mediation agreements" probably won't cut it.

You've probably got a lot of language about the UMA in your form mediation agreement. But the UMA doesn't apply here. So think about it.

I've not seen need for a mediation agreement myself, though with current events I am revisiting the question of whether I want to ask the parties to provide me with immunity or limit my testimonial exposure more.

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