Wisconsin Works to Avoid Foreclosures

Paralegal, foreclosureContributed by Peggy Miller, Paralegal Program Chair, Globe University – Appleton

The housing market has been a topic of interest for several years.  It has gone from the heights of growth and health to the bottom of the economic downturn.  We are just now starting to see signs of recovery, but there is still damage from the fall. 

As of July, 2012, it was estimated that there were more than 50,000 open residential foreclosure actions in Wisconsin.  Each foreclosure that’s avoided is estimated to save local communities and stakeholders roughly $40,000, leading to an estimated $2 billion or more impact to the state.

In November, 2012 the Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, in conjunction with the Metro Milwaukee Foreclosure Mediation Program began a call for volunteers to participate in a program called the Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network.  This Mediation Network is designed to help Wisconsin residents who are facing foreclosure.

The Appleton Campus Paralegal Program Chair, Peggy Miller answered this call for volunteers and has been named the Northeast Region Program Administrator for the Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network. 

On average, just under 50% of all mediated cases resolve the foreclosure with a loan modification, giving homeowners a fresh start and lenders a performing loan.  When home retention is not a viable option, the programs provide resources and facilitate transitional options so borrowers have a dignified exit and a soft landing.  A survey, which included both lender’s counsel and homeowners, found that 98% of program participants would recommend the program to others in foreclosure.