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Connecticut Governor Working to Improve State’s Foreclosure Mediation Process

Tuesday, February, 5, 2013

Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of Connecticut, requested that the state’s lawmakers’ move to pass legislation that would effectively streamline the process of foreclosure mediation in order to help more distressed homeowners stay in their homes.  In a joint press conference held with George Jepsen, Attorney General and Howard Pitkin, Banking Commissioner, Malloy announced that the improved process would force banks to send a representative with authority to make key decisions regarding the loan to every mediation session that is held with distressed homeowners.  Mallow believes that this will allay the “overly bureaucratic” process that is currently in place and give homeowners more of a chance to find relief through foreclosure mediation. 

Speaking of the current process that would be ousted by this new law, Governor Mallow stated, “That level of bureaucracy is compounded by the fact that you don’t frequently meet with the same person and more times than not, the person you’re meeting with has no authority to make a decision.”  In passing this new bill, Malloy hopes that the State of Connecticut will provide homeowners with a better, more streamlined process for dealing with lenders through the improved foreclosure mediation process.  Additionally, the new bill will provide measures that halt any litigation proceedings regarding the home while foreclosure mediation is in process. 

Malloy also had two homeowners speak on behalf of the bill, calling them a “couple of fighters.”  Linda Casanova, a distressed homeowner from Bristol, Connecticut who recently lost her job, spoke at the press conference and related how the current foreclosure mediation process within the state was difficult for her.  “It was not a good experience for me.  Never had a positive suggestion.  I felt mediation did everything to discourage me from finding a solution,” she said.

Debbie Sargunas, a homeowner from Thomaston, Connecticut, also spoke and related how the process of mediation was, for her, a matter that extended over the span of a year and involved working with a different lawyer each month. “If the governor’s bill had been in place, I believe our problem would have been resolved sooner,” she said.

According to Governor Malloy, “This is legislation that should not wait until the last day of the session to be passed.  It should be taken up as quickly as possible.  As you know we have a large volume of cases outstanding and I believe this legislation could help settle some of those in a timely fashion.”