Bill Would Extend Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program

DOVER – Citing the success of helping Delaware families in difficult situations, Rep. John Kowalko filed legislation this week that would extend a critical state program that provides assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure.

In response to the foreclosure crisis that gripped the state and nation during the past decade, Delaware lawmakers and former attorney general the late Beau Biden produced a package of bills in 2011 that were enacted with broad bi-partisan support. Among those measures was legislation that strengthened Delaware’s existing voluntary foreclosure mediation program.

The Automatic Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program requires lenders to have a meaningful face-to-face discussion with borrowers about a payment plan or other options before a foreclosure can proceed. The program originally was scheduled to sunset in 2014, but was extended into 2019.

House Bill 68, sponsored by Rep. Kowalko, would extended the mediation program and the Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Financial Education through 2024.

“This program has literally saved Delaware families from being cast out of their homes into the streets,” said Rep, Kowalko, D-Newark South. “The face-to-face discussions between lenders and homeowners has had a real impact in reducing foreclosures, and even though the housing crisis has waned, we should continue such a worthwhile and beneficial program that produces such a positive result for Delaware residents.”

HB 68 has been assigned to the House Housing & Community Affairs Committee.


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