2015-10-23 11:20





Foreclosures continue to rise in Florida and other US states hit hard by the real estate crisis. Several Florida counties are trying to fight back against the problem by bringing banks and home owners together to find a way to save troubled mortgages from foreclosure.

Real estate experts say now may be a great time to buy a home in south Florida, if only because so many cheap foreclosed homes are available.

The flood has created chaos for local judges, who must rule on every foreclosure case. But another option is to avoid the courtroom and order both the bank and the home owner into a mediation room.

Rod Petrey, head of the Collins Center which organizes out-of-court mediation programs, says that option has been ignored in Florida until now.

“One thing we are missing is for the two parties to talk to each other,“ Petrey said. “When a lender calls a borrower, a lot of the language has been: Pay up, deadbeat. Is that the best way to have a conversation with the borrower?“
我们一直没有做到的是让双方会谈…银行或是其他借贷机构给贷款者打电话时,通常的说法是"付钱吧, 赖债人"。我认为这不是与贷款者谈话的最好方式。

Some borrowers also complain that banks or lending firms do not return their calls or that it is too hard to get in touch with the right person in charge of mortgage. Petrey says some of those communication problems can be avoided with court-ordered mediations, which the Collins Center is helping to organize in several areas. The non-profit group recently held a training session for about 200 trained mediators in the Miami area.
一些贷款者抱怨,银行或其他借贷机构都不回复他们的电话或是与真正负责他们房贷的人取得联系非常困难。彼德雷说,沟通上的一些问题确实可以通过法庭下达的调停令 解决。科林斯公司在好几个地区组织这样的调停会。这个非盈利机构最近在迈阿密地区为200多名受训的调解人提供培训课程。

One of the trainees,Joan BickerstafiF, said a mediation session may provide a number of alternatives not available in a foreclosure trial.
琼比克斯塔夫参加了这样的培训项目。她说, 调解也许可以比法庭的止赎案件审判提供更多的选择。

“The court system is overwhelmed and probably does not provide the best solution. The discretion that the court has in a foreclosure proceeding is fairly limited,“ she said.
她说:"法庭有太多的案子要处理,很可能不会提供最好的解决办法。法庭在审理止赎案的过 程中所拥有的决定权受到了一定的限制。"

Courts have no authority to order a bank to change the terms of a loan or compel a home owner to continue making payments on a home. But at a mediation the two sides can agree to adjust the loan, reduce the monthly payments or decide to sell the house at a lower price and terminate the mortgage.
法庭没有权力下令银行更改贷款的条款或是强迫房主继续支付贷款。但是,在调停时,双方可 以同意对贷款条款作出调整,减少月付款,或决定以一个稍低的价格出售房屋或是终止房贷。

Experts say the process will not work for every home owner in trouble, especially people who have lost their jobs or those who borrowed way too much in the first place.

Rod Petrey says the key to mediation is a credit counseling session, to determine what a home owner can afford.

“A lot of lenders say we have not seen information from that borrower in years, we do not even know if they have a job or not. Plus for the borrower, it really forces them to add up what they got and what they do not have," Petrey said.

The Collins Center has organized 15 mediations in Miami. Former judge Tom Bateman, who advises the center, says the sessions are confidential, but the results have been encouraging.
科林斯中心已经在迈阿密组织了 15个调停会。该中心的顾问,曾经担任法官的汤姆贝特曼说,这些调停会议是秘密进行的,会议的结果令人鼓舞。

“Nine had reached what we call a successful resolution... and they agreed to adjourn and continue negotiating after the mediation session,“ Bateman said.

Similar mediation programs have been operating for months in states like Ohio and New Jersey, where they are credited with limiting new foreclosures.

But Miami realtor Enrique Lopez doubts whether it will work in Florida, where home prices have plunged in the past two years. He says there is no incentive for home owners to negotiate a deal to remain in a house worth far less than the mortgage on it a situation known as being ‘"upside down".