Article Image
Arbitration & Foreclosure: Can It Stop Foreclosure?

Monday, December, 3, 2012


Although foreclosures are slowing down since those of about five years ago, they are far from over.  Every day families are being forced from their homes, leaving adults and children without a home.   These home owners have been given home loans by banks who knew that they were not qualified to purchase a home.  In their effort to squeeze those on the lower economic scale for all they’re worth, banks had no scruples is granting loans.  The outcome was inevitable.  Today, those people are paying for debt they incurred years earlier by just trying to keep the home that gave them pride.  Legal costs added on top of what they have already lost, can be enormous.

To add insult to injury, so many homes were lost to foreclosures that home prices for all homes have drastically fallen.  Even those who were able to hang on to their homes, are now owning a home that is worth far less than their home’s purchase price.  The past housing market has produced a situation that resulted in a huge gain for them but a loss for everyone else involved, especially families.  From these practices evolved certain government regulations that will aid the consumer, especially the consumer who had been taken advantage of by big lending institutions.  Now it is not as cut and dried to foreclose on homeowners as it was in the beginning of the housing decline.  No longer can lending companies tell the home owner he has to be out of his home in thirty days.  There are legal steps a homeowner can take to remedy his situation.

States may differ in their specific laws regarding foreclosure, but all of the states do have some policies in place that provides the homeowner with some recourse.  Arbitration is an effective way for a homeowner to present his case to a neutral who has no motive other than doing what is right and fair to both parties.  It gives the homeowner a little time to present his case in the form of how he came to get the mortgage, his income and expenditures.  The arbitrator may be able to get an agreement from the lender to re-evaluate this mortgage and perhaps to refinance.

Arbitration is the best alternative to litigation because it is presided over by someone other than a judge but someone who has extensive legal knowledge and expertise in the field of home ownership and foreclosure.  It is a much more economical way to have serious issues resolved and is as binding by law as the decision a judge may render at the end of litigation.  Privacy is another bonus that is inherent in arbitration and sometimes, personal dignity is the only thing a person has left.