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City of St. Louis passes new foreclosure ordinance

2:47 PM, Feb 27, 2013   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The City of St. Louis has passed a new ordinance in an effort to prevent foreclosures.

Maggie Crane, a spokesperson for Mayor Francis Slay, says the St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed Board Bill No. 160CS and it was signed by Mayor Slay Wednesday.

Crane says in the last year 1,116 homeowners in the city have gone through foreclosure.

"Home foreclosures present dangers to the health, safety and welfare of the public, thereby creating a public nuisance. They hurt property values and interfere with the collection of real property taxes. It's a serious concern, which municipal government cannot ignore," Mayor Francis Slay said. "The City is heartened by the willingness of the major lenders in town to participate in home foreclosure mediation."

The ordinance asks lenders to meet with homeowners to review reasons why the loan is difficult, possible changes that could be made, and look into federal housing resources before completing a foreclosure.

A similar ordinance is in effect in St. Louis County.

Lenders will need to issue a "notice of mediation" to the homeowner and the mediator and pay the $100 filing fee. This will come at no cost to the city or city taxpayers.

United States Arbitration and Mediation Midwest Inc. will handle mediations and try to contact the homeowners three times over 15 days. If the homeowner is not reached, the foreclosure process will continue.

Homeowners who respond and decide to participate in mediation will be scheduled to meet with the lender. Lenders will then pay an additional $350 fee for mediation services.

The homeowner will be allowed to stay in the home if an agreement is reached with the lender.

If an agreement is not reached, the foreclosure process can continue.

All lender forms are available on the City of St. Louis' website, and on the website of United States Arbitration and Mediation Midwest Inc.

The ordinance goes into effect immediately.

KSDK

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