Homeowners facing foreclosure seek help

BOSTON (WWLP) – Homeowners facing foreclosure are seeking help from Beacon Hill, hoping mediation may be the answer.

According to RealtyTrac, one in every 2,400 Hampden County homeowners is foreclosed on. Now, those on the verge of foreclosure are asking for help. Struggling homeowners say they don’t have enough support.

“No one is standing up for the homeowners,” said Heather Gordon, of Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending. “You go to the Attorney General’s office; you’re put on a waiting list. You tell your stories and all you do is get embarrassed and frustrated.”

The MAAPL is pushing for legislation to create pre-foreclosure mediation programs. The bill aims to join a homeowner seeking a loan modification  with a bank representative and an impartial mediator to negotiate an alternative to foreclosure. Connecticut already has such a law, and the alliance says it’s working there.

“In Connecticut, 67% of folks who participate in this kind of process are getting an affordable agreement that they can stay in their home long-term, and we need that in Massachusetts,” said Grace Ross of MAAPL.

The state would run the mediation programs,  and homeowners and their banks would be responsible to pay the fees required to fund the program.

Supporters believe that pre-foreclosure mediation programs will help struggling homeowners stay in their homes and lower the foreclosure rate in the state.

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