In The Sun Today: O'Malley urging mediation before foreclosures
Program would ensure lenders renegotiate mortgages
More than a year after Maryland officials set out to quell the foreclosure crisis with some of the most aggressive prevention programs in the nation, the number of homeowners on the brink is again on the rise.
“We're not doing a heck of a lot better now than we were before,” Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a recent interview. “So we've got to try to do something different to try to get the numbers moving in a better direction.”
The O'Malley administration is working on a new tactic: using mediators to ensure lenders are making a good-faith effort to renegotiate more affordable loan terms, and to ensure homeowners understand those terms. The governor, a Democrat, plans to introduce legislation requiring mediation in foreclosure cases when the General Assembly convenes in January.
A number of states, including Nevada and Connecticut, and cities such as Philadelphia have implemented mandatory mediation programs.
O'Malley launched an all-out campaign against foreclosures last year. He pushed a reform package though the legislature and implemented state-backed loan programs. A public-service campaign urged troubled homeowners to call nonprofit housing counselors.
But those efforts had mixed results. For the full story, click here.
ALSO, Constellation Energy Group warns that if Maryland regulators place too many conditions on its $4.5 billion with a French utility, they could scuttle the entire deal and jeopardize a massive nuclear project in the state. Some conditions have been sought by O'Malley. Click here for the story.