2014 Track: Foreclosure Mediation

March 28-29, 2014
21st Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference

Workshops of interest to representatives and mediators in foreclosure mediations.

To see the full conference workshop lineup click here to return to the 2014 Workshops page

2.5 Foreclosure: Different Loan Types and the NPV
Presenters: Brian Haaland, Northwest Justice Project, Vancouver, Washington; Troy Klika, Northwest Justice Project, Tacoma, Washington

The goal of this session is to go into the Net Present Value and Federal Housing Authority inputs to see what they are, why they are important, and how they affect the mediation conversation. We will address the changes and relevant data in the NPV/FHA discussion. The presenters will walk the audience through the basics of the NPV and then demonstrate, through examples, how one input can have a drastic impact on the results at mediation. Discussions of the FHA waterfall will include how changes to FHA mortgagee letters have altered the evaluation and modification of loans.

3.6 Foreclosure Fairness Act (FFA) Mediators Learn the Power of NO
Presenters: Kimberly Koch-Hult, Foreclosure Mediation Program Coordinator, Community Mediation Services, Vancouver, Washington; Maralise Hood Quan, Executive Director, Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution, Tacoma, Washington

Mediators are peacemakers. Mediators know people can reach amazing agreements that are mutually satisfactory. What happens if the parties can’t agree to meet? During the three years of foreclosure mediations we have discovered how the mediators professional bias towards peacemaking has made our work difficult. Issues of statutory timelines, realities of the parties’ inability to produce the work within those timelines and the requirement to make a “good faith determination” have been huge challenges. What best practices have we identified as mediators? What are the consequences of a mediator saying no to the parties? What about impartiality in the process of saying no?

5.5 The Tipping Table: Mediating Foreclosure Cases on A Perilous Incline
Presenter: Meredith O. Bruch, Northwest Justice Project, Yakima, Washington; David Kauffman, Northwest Justice Project, Everett, Washington

As both an advocate and a former Foreclosure Fairness Act mediator, Meredith is acutely aware of the imbalances that tip the table in foreclosure mediation. Mediators and advocates struggle to balance this. In the struggle to balance the table, as a means of insuring fully informed and voluntary decisions, procedural fairness, a quality process, and generally meeting the requirements of the FFA, the Uniform Mediation Act, and the Standards of Practice for Mediators, the participants will discuss the following questions regarding foreclosure mediation in Washington: (1) who is really at the table; (2) who truly participates at the table; (3) do parties listen to their advocates; (4) do the advocates know the law; (5) does this matter, and if so what can you do about it; and (6) is it ever possible to balance the table given those realities. Mediators should think about these questions in order to meet their responsibilities as third party neutrals.

7.6 Foreclosure Mediation: Not In Good Faith Certification
Presenters: Lili Sotelo, Senior Attorney, Foreclosure Prevention Unit; Ariel Speser, Staff Attorney, Foreclosure Prevention Unit, Northwest Justice Project, Seattle, Washington

This presentation centers on the legislative intent behind the good faith provision in the Foreclosure Fairness Act and highlights objective criteria mediators can use to determine good and bad faith. The presenters will engage with the audience about common scenarios and pitfalls made by both mediators and advocates. During mediation, what are some best practices to avoid arguing good or bad faith? How can mediators and advocates leverage a not in good faith certification to reach a mutually beneficial resolution? If the mediator finds a lack of good faith, is it game over or just a game changer? This session is targeted for an intermediate level audience, which would include attendees who have at least some familiarity with the Department of Commerce’s Foreclosure Mediation Program. This session will be engaging for all levels of experience so anyone interested in, or who has experience with foreclosure mediation, is encouraged to attend.

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