Florida Foreclosure Mediation Program Scrapped
December 21, 2011
Florida’s mandatory foreclosure mediation program was canned by the Florida Supreme Court this week after problems in the process led to subpar settlement rates. Recession-battered homeowners currently in line for mediation remain eligible to complete the program, but no new cases will be heard, leaving area residents fighting to keep their home with one less avenue for recourse.
Attorneys attribute the program’s demise to a lack of cooperation by lenders. Banks point the blame back to underwater borrowers. But judges and program administrators say it’s likely a mix of both, with the cost of mediation simply no longer justifiable. “It was a great opportunity and a noble experiment, but by-in-large, I don’t think you could say it was a financially positive experience for anyone,” said Circuit Judge Lee Haworth, who helped craft the program.