Last time, I wrote about an article in the December 8, 2008 Hartford Business Journal titled “Mediation Helps 360 Postpone Foreclosure.” Greg Bordonaro described the success of Connecticut’s Foreclosure Mediation Program, including comments from various participants. I talked about how a “win” for a homeowner could mean more than stopping foreclosure completely, because even a negotiated delay in the process is a partial win that will help the homeowner.
Another point made by a participant, an attorney representing homeowners, was that requiring lenders to participate in the program can open up lines of communication. It is important to remember that requiring a party to participate in a mediation process is not the same as forcing a resolution on a party. Parties are required to attempt to reach a mediated resolution in a variety of settings, ranging from legislatively mandated programs to individual judges who order parties to attempt mediation in the context of a particular case. Sometimes a party who will find that, despite his expectations before attempting to reach a voluntary resolution of a dispute, that a mediated settlement is possible that will serve his interests better than allowing the dispute to continue. Then, he will find it beneficial to agree to the mediated result, though not forced to do so.