Foreclosure mediation program in New Hampshire.

The court system in New Hampshire has set up a new foreclosure mediation program that was created to provide struggling homeowners and lenders a solution to mortgage problems. Mediation is when a forum is created in which borrowers and lenders can meet to work out a solution when borrowers fall behind on their mortgage payments and are faced with losing their home.

Various agencies and organizations across the state are supporting this program. The mediation process is funded by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority,  and also the Oleander Jameson Trust.

How does the foreclosure mediation program work?

The New Hampshire foreclosure mediation program is a free to all homeowners across the state. It is a voluntary program for both lenders, banks, and borrowers. What will happen is a trained mediator will participate in the process, meet with the parties involved, and they will do their best to facilitate a solution that will help homeowners and lenders discuss restructuring loans or other alternatives that will benefit the bank, and allow the homeowner to stay in their home.

The goal is to provide a so called neutral ground, with a third-party mediator, in which both parties will meet to try to work out some type of agreement in what is often a stressful situation, and that which is a win win situation.

It is important to note that the program will be free to all residents, and it will ensure that lenders and borrowers meet with a trained mediator. The talks and ongoing negotiations may result in a restructuring or modifying of the loan, extending the term of the loan, lowering payments by, among other things cutting interest rates, reducing the loan's principal, or waiving fees.

If you have already had foreclosure proceedings initiated against you, or if you are worried that you might  fall behind on your housing payments because of job loss, medical emergency or other financial problems, then you can take part in the program. There are some criteria, including that homeowners will need to fill out an application, which will available on the state of New Hampshire’s judicial website, and send it to your lender if you want to pursue the mediation process. Currently both parties need to agree to meet across the mediation table and try to come to a solution.

After filling out a form on the program's website, officials of the mediation program submit the original form to the lender and a copy to the main office in Concord. If the bank or lender agrees to work with the borrower, an appointment will be set up with a mediator at a district or superior court, depending on which is more convenient for both parties that are involved. Visit the New Hampshire Office of Mediation and Arbitration to learn more.





Will it be successful?

State and national housing experts have said that the program's success will depend on how willing lenders, banks, and borrowers are to seek an alternative environment. It will depend on how willing each party is to give a little in order to come to a solution. While it is true that banks do want to avoid filing a foreclosure notice and incurring the expenses that accompany the process, sometimes if the homeowner is not willing to negotiate or if they are too far behind, than in many cases it will be cheaper for the bank to take possession of a property and deal with it later. Find other ways to get mortgage help, click here.

There exist many different programs that provide mortgage help, and some of these other mortgage modification programs have resulted in mixed success. National and large regional banks with enormous  portfolios of loans on their balance sheets have found themselves overrun with requests for help from homeowners across the nation. This has resulted in borrowers needing to wait weeks or even months just to process an application for assistance.

It comes down to that the New Hampshire foreclosure mediation program could help many homeowners by allowing them to work one-on-one with a lender to come up with a modification or another solution outside of the bureaucracy of most other programs. However, it won’t be able to stop all foreclosures, but it is just one more option.




By Jon McNamara

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