Will the real lender please stand up?

As the Florida Supreme Court Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force is presumably gathering information and crafting procedures for addressing Florida’s foreclosures these two articles, Foreclosure Negotiations Difficult and Foreclosure Summit, by Mike Vasilinda from the Capitol News Service make it very clear that the largest hurdle will be determining who the real parties are.

I am inclined to believe that mediation can be part of the solution but mediators are only permitted to facilitate communications between parties who are there to negotiate in good faith and who have authority to settle. If one party cannot produce the underlying note because the paper has been sold fifteen times over then who can properly represent the lending authority? Should a governmental oversight committee be appointed to send representatives to foreclosure mediations to negotiate all mortgages that have been sold into the secondary market leaving real banks to attend foreclosure mediations only if they can produce the note? Do any such “old-fashioned” mortgages exist any longer?

If and when mediation becomes a uniform approach to the mortgage foreclosure crisis we need to be sure that a party with real authority to negotiate is seated at the table. Who or what that party is remains to be seen.

- Sandra C. Upchurch

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