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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Volunteers Needed for Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network


Volunteers may register now for a two-day training event November 29-30.


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, in conjunction with the Metro Milwaukee Foreclosure Mediation Program (MMFMP), has announced volunteers are needed for the statewide expansion of the program, designed to help Wisconsin residents who are facing foreclosure.


With funding from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), the MMFMP is launching the Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network. This Network will assist other counties with starting foreclosure mediation programs, with regional centers in Wausau, La Crosse, Hudson/Eau Claire, Oshkosh and Green Bay. The program also will “network” existing programs around the state, and provide those programs with resources and support. This new statewide program is interested in attorneys and experienced mediators to serve as volunteer mediators. Court officials, housing counselors, paralegals and others also are invited to a two-day training event to learn more. The training program will take place in Wausau, November 29-30, 2012. To learn more, or to register, visit the following link:


Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network Flyer


(The deadline to register is November 24, 2012)


Under the Joint State-Federal Mortgage Servicing Settlement announced in early 2012 involving the nation's five largest mortgage servicers, Attorney General Van Hollen is allocating $458,550 for the continuation and expansion of the network's foreclosure mediation services. A renewed memorandum of agreement between the Department of Justice and Milwaukee County continues support for the MMFMP beginning January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013, and commits additional funds to work on expansion of the program statewide beginning October 1, 2012, through December 31, 2013.


As of July 2012, the MMFMP estimated there were more than 50,000 open residential foreclosure actions in Wisconsin. Each foreclosure that's avoided is estimated to save local communities and stakeholders roughly $40,000, leading to an estimated $2 billion or more impact to the state.


“Many Wisconsin homeowners have suffered as a result of the foreclosure crisis. Our state's economy overall has suffered as a result of the foreclosure crisis. I'm pleased to devote a share of this settlement to a program that has proven successful,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “I've seen how our own Assistant Attorneys General are helping homeowners eligible under the settlement. I encourage those who can to volunteer for the expansion of this network and help others facing similar difficulties.”


“We are looking for attorneys, experienced mediators, those from the professions or those who have transactional and negotiation experience, such as bankers, underwriters, business managers, all with college degrees,” MMFMP's Executive Director/Chief Mediator Debra Tuttle said. “Upon completion of the two-day training, our team fully supports each volunteer with individual mentors and does all of the administrative work. Each mediation case typically involves one in-person session and several teleconferences. We need about 40 dedicated people to take two to eight cases per month at convenient locations in Central Wisconsin.”


The MMFMP, which began in July of 2009, has previously received more than $500,000 in Department of Justice funding from the Countrywide Financial Corporation lawsuit, as well as funds from the City of Milwaukee. Since inception, it has helped more than 3,000 families. On average, just under 50% of all mediated cases resolve the foreclosure with a loan modification, giving homeowners a fresh start and lenders a performing loan. When home retention is not a viable option, the programs provide resources and facilitate transitional options so borrowers have a dignified exit and a soft landing. A survey, which included both lender's counsel and homeowners, found that 98% of program participants would recommend the program to others in foreclosure.


To contact the MMFMP staff, or to learn more about the program, visit: