Rep. Tina Orwall (Democrat) speaking to reporters said that the legislative session of 2011 had been the hardest for her; heart rending decisions about the budget had to be made. But there were some good news too.
In 2010 summer Orwall had met in her district four persons residing in the same block and facing foreclosure. All of them were finding it difficult to steer through the process. The lenders sent them on a merry-go-round chase from which it was difficult to extricate themselves. It was well nigh impossible to squeeze out answers from the lenders. The broken process meant they would lose their homes without getting a chance to plead their cause.
The figures were alarming. In only two years more than 77,000 had seen their houses vanish causing Washington State to slump from 25th ranking in foreclosures to 10th. The estimate is that from 2009 to 2012 over 132,000 houses would be foreclosed upon. According to RealtyTrac in King County last September 935 new cases of foreclosure were noted; of these 115 were in Kent – one of the worse affected regions.
Orwall reiterated that foreclosures were affecting all directly and indirectly. It continues to rule spreading its tentacles to friends and neighbours apart from the family. The house owners are facing severe pressure and the market is deluged with empty houses. If they are sold it is at heavily discounted rates and this is regularly impacting on the value of adjoining houses.
Orwall claims she has worked out a new programme with the stakeholders to enable the house owners to continue staying in their houses, wherever it is possible. The resolution will be reached faster – without having to wait for twelve and sometimes sixteen months. Her bill has been named Foreclosure Fairness Act of 2011. It has been supported by both parties and was inked by the governor on 14th April.
The newly enacted law will give help to 45,000 households that are apprehending foreclosure notices this current year. The programme kicked off last 22nd July and in only three months more than 600 across the state have come to a halt. The homeowners are now getting a chance to sit for mediation.
The new law has brought back both sides to the mediation table to find out other options to foreclosure. The law mandates that the borrowers would have to be notified about the foreclosure counseling that is available and the possibility of mediation. Counseling will help the house owners understand all the alternatives they have and be advised about the best steps they can take.