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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Landmark Program Designed To Help Struggling Washington Homeowners Launches Friday

Guest blog from Rogers Weed, Director, Department of Commerce
Friday marks the launch of a landmark program for Washington homeowners facing foreclosure. Thanks to bipartisan work this session, Washington is the third state with a non-judicial foreclosure process to introduce a program designed to help homeowners and their lenders reach a resolution.

The new Foreclosure Mediation Program allows homeowners to meet with decision makers from their lender and a neutral third party to discuss options to foreclosure.

To participate, contact a housing counselor at 1-877-894-HOME (4663). The housing counselor will work with you to help you understand your options and determine if you are eligible for mediation. Homeowners must be referred to mediation from a housing counselor or an attorney. You can also contact the statewide civil legal aid hotline for legal assistance and referrals at 1-800-606-4819.

Housing counseling is FREE. If you are referred to mediation, the cost to the homeowner is $200. The lender will also pay $200.

Last year, Washington saw approximately 40,000 foreclosures. Similar programs in other states have proven effective in reducing foreclosures, with successful results for homeowners and their communities.

Get additional foreclosure resources, listen to the radio Public Service Announcement, or learn more about the program and how to participate.