Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center receives $5,000 foreclosure mediation grant

The Whatcom Dispute Resolution center has received a new grant to help with foreclosure mediation.

The Jayme Clise Curley and David Leith Curley family has funded nearly $5,000 of the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center’s Stable Home Mediation Program through the Whatcom Community Foundation as of April 19.

“We are so grateful to the Whatcom Community Foundation and Jayme and David Curley for their generosity and recognition that the possibilities for mediation continue to expand and that as a community we have a responsibility to help one another engage in productive, problem-solving conversations,” Moonwater, WDRC’s executive director, said in a May 17 press release. “Now celebrating our 20th year, the WDRC is proud to provide cutting edge services that are meeting emergent and critical community needs.”

The Stable Home Mediation Program is the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center’s response to Governor Gregoire’s Foreclosure Fairness Act of 2011, which gives homeowners the option of face-to-face mediation with the bank or company servicing their mortgages.

Since 90 percent of foreclosure mediators in Washington are affiliated with dispute resolution centers like the WDRC, the nonprofit organizations are responsible for implementing the bulk of services throughout the state.

Given the complexities of the case management that are required to bring homeowners and lenders to the same table, additional funding was needed to meet this new demand.

The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center plans to bring at least 15 foreclosure mediations to fruition in 2012 with the goal that homeowners will have an opportunity to discuss options as alternatives to foreclosure, provide parties the ability to review programs that could assist in continued payment of mortgages, review documentation with their bank or lender, and as a last resort discuss opportunities and timelines for a “graceful exit” from their homes.

The nonprofit is online at www.whatcomdrc.org.

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