Tuesday, January 25, 2011

As I Testify... can I get a Hallelujah?

As some of you know, I did a little work as a preacher.  I had my fair share of chances to testify, but I never got a chance to get a hallelujah.  Well tomorrow, I am hoping for my chance because I will hopefully be testifying on behalf of consumers on a subject that is important to my clients.

It has been a crazy two weeks since my last post and part of the craziness is what I want to write about.  On January 19th, two bills were read on the congressional floors here in Washington (that is the state in the Northwest.)  The House read HB 1362, and the Senate read SB 5275.  These two companion bills are proposals for foreclosure mediation.  A good friend of mine, summed up the bills as such:
  • Adds provisions for foreclosure mediation if the borrower elects mediation
  • The beneficiary must conduct a good faith review of the borrower's financial situation and offer a loan modification or other option if the borrower is eligible.  A good faith review means that the beneficiary: (1) evaluates the borrower's eligibility for all loan modification programs; and (2) participate in foreclosure mediation, if the borrower elects mediation. Sharing information, negotiating willingly, cooperating with the mediator and keeping agreements are indications of good faith.   If the beneficiary fails to conduct a good faith review, it is a defense to foreclosure.
  • Extends the ‘meet and confer’ requirements to all loans (not just those made between 2003-2007)
  • Requires banks to pay a surcharge on every foreclosure filing that will fund the program and additional housing counselors
  • Makes it a Consumer Protection Act violation for any person to violate the duty of good faith in the mediation requirement  
Tomorrow, I will be attending hearings in Olympia in both chambers and hopefully testifying on behalf of consumers.  I have been told that these meeting usually only have a handful of consumer advocates and the rest are taking money from the banks.  Well, I guess I technically take money from banks too, but that usually doesn't happen in a willing transaction between business partners.  Its more like me acting like the school bully and the banks are giving up milk money.  For a kid that used to have to give up his milk money, that feels good.  Can I get a Hallelujah? 

1 comment:

  1. Can I get a witness? Thanks for sharing Brother Nic! I will look for the details of what comes next & how it goes in court.