Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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Washington County PA Adopts Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | May 3, 2009

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

On April 29, 2009, Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca announced the establishment of a Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program for owner occupied single family mortgages in foreclosure. A notice will be attached to every qualified mortgage foreclosure complaint served, explaining that it is possible to obtain a 90 day moratorium by completing a training course conducted by Southwestern Legal Services. The course will be given on May 13 and every Wednesday thereafter in the Washington County Court House. The Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter published this story on the program.

Unlike the very successful Philadelphia mortgage foreclosure diversion program and the newly inaugurated Allegheny County program, Washington County does not conduct judge supervised mediations. The reason why probably has to do with a severe shortage of judge time.

Nevertheless, it is hard for PLBT to see how lenders will be motivated to do much more than wait out the 90 day moratorium without a mediator who has the power to hold their feet to the fire. Perhaps Southwestern Legal Services, who is administering the program, has some ideas on the subject. Southwestern told the O-R that it had discussed the subject with judges in Greene and Somerset Counties, who showed interest and that it hopes to introduce the program into Fayette County next year. PLBT will follow the diversion program in Washington and any other Pennsylvania Counties who adopt a similar program and report on developments.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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