``Here's what can happen when people get lulled into a false sense of security listening to the news stories about how our housing markets have rebounded and foreclosures are down... we risk losing the things that are helping homeowners.

When the foreclosure crisis began, and for the first few years as foreclosures continued unabated, foreclosure mediation programs were unheard of... in fact, it wasn't until people realized that HAMP wasn't really working as advertised and banks weren't modifying loans in the numbers they should that states started considering making mediation part of the process.

I could be wrong about this, but if memory serves it was Nevada that was first to put in such a program for its residents... it didn't work very well at first, but other states reluctantly followed suit... and finally after several years, the effectiveness of the various state programs has improved.

Still, and even with the problems faced by homeowners attempting to get their loans modified so widely known, it's never easy to put a mediation program in place. St. Louis and St. Louis County reportedly finally passed a mediation ordinance, "amid tales of chaos in the mortgage servicing business as foreclosures mounted."''

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