Foreclosure mediations in Florida fail to produce quick results
A court-initiated foreclosure mediation program in Florida has a somewhat spotty track record after releasing results from the first four-month mediation cycle. Foreclosure mediation programs are designed to give borrowers and lenders a chance to crank out a mutual agreement before a home is lost in foreclosure. Results from the Florida program show 64% of distressed borrowers left mediation proceedings in the March through June survey period without getting a new deal from lenders. While data suggest the program is getting off to a rough start, the Florida Circuit Courts said in a recent report that "the program is still too new and a large majority of the circuits did not initiate their respective programs until July 1," which makes it difficult to reach a consensus on the program's impact. Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady launched the program in late 2009. Recently, the Florida courts evaluated data from the only full four-month period on record. During that survey period, 13 Florida circuit courts remained without an operational mediation program. Of the seven circuits with mediation programs, 64% of the sessions produced no results. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Circuit Courts in Florida fared slightly better with all three reporting lower mediation failure rates in the 30% to 54% range. After evaluating the data, the Florida Supreme Court said it wanted the program to go forward so it could "capture enough statistics to create critical mass in terms of statistical validity." Write to Kerri Panchuk.