A New Law in Hawaii Will Compel Lenders to Sit for Mediation Talks Before Foreclosing

Since the past two years there have been 24,000 foreclosures in Hawaii as per the findings of RealtyTrac. In 2010 there were 12,425 foreclosure cases calculating to a rate of 1:41. Hawaii ranked in the nation in foreclosures.

Wayne Salas, a city worker (waste-water treatment plan’s supervisor) said that a new law being enforced in Hawaii will benefit many. Salas, whose wife is a state government employee, said that the furloughs initiated by both the city and the state administration would cut into their pockets ‘” money that they badly need to be abreast on the mortgage payments on their house in Ahuimanu.

In 2009 September Salas had asked for assistance from his lender, Bank of America. Salas calculated that in a reduction was made in the interest rate of 6.25% that was going to increase in 2010, he would be able to keep his home. But the bank’s staff told him since he had not defaulted on the mortgage they could not help him. Taking their advice he defaulted and again tried to participate in the loan modification plan. Bank of America placed him on a waiting list because of his arrears but assured him that he would not be foreclosed upon. But hardly a week had gone before he found an eviction notice on his house. Traumatized and harangued by debt collectors he somehow took out money from retirement account to tide over the arrears and penalties for the same. The bank relented and enrolled him in the Making Home Affordable plan for a period of six months. Disputes arose over misplaced documents and correct payment figures; finally a non-profit group, Hawaiian Community Assets started to talk with the bank on behalf of Salas.

After twenty months and having endured the shock of four notices of foreclosure the bank brought down the interest to 4.125%. Salas breaking into tears continues to be worried about further complications. He does not want anyone to suffer the way he did.

There are many others in the same boat as Salas. The out of the state lender do not have the proper infrastructure to deal with the flood of applications for loan modification. Documents are being misplaced and the left hand of the bank does not know what the right hand is doing.

The new law mandates that lenders will have to sit across the table with the borrowers before foreclosing. A professional facilitator has to be present. The law was modeled on the lines of a programme in Nevada that contends 46% of the cases that undergo mediation avoid foreclosure. Julie Thompson, has been working on ForeclosureListings.com studying the foreclosure market, helping buyers on the finer points of Watertown foreclosures. Try to visit ForeclosureListings.com and find all related information about foreclosure listings.