Mediation | St. Louis Public Radio

Mediation

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A pilot program in courthouses in Madison and Bond counties in Illinois is designed to speed up simple family court cases.

The Third Judicial Circuit received a $5,000 state grant to pay for mediators who can help people without attorneys do the paperwork to make agreements in those cases legally binding. The program started Dec. 1.

An illustration of a group of four people sitting around a table.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen last week took a big step toward adopting one of the recommendations in the Ferguson Commission report.

By approving the Office of Community Mediation on a 26-0 vote, the city is embracing the idea that with a little help, communities can handle some disputes on their own, rather than relying on the police or the judicial system.

James Regier, Community Mediation Services of St. Louis' mediation coordinator, and John Doggette, the organization's executive director, talk to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh about mediation on March 18, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Sometimes you need a person in the middle — an impartial mediator.

Community Mediation Services of St. Louis helps people talk about and resolve their differences.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 13, 2013 - The effort in the Missouri legislature to abolish local foreclosure mediation ordinances, such as those in St. Louis and St. Louis County, had all the right kind of legislative momentum.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Missouri Senate sent legislation to Gov. Jay Nixon aimed at abolishing the foreclosure mediation ordinances in St. Louis County and St. Louis, constituting a major blow to the programs.

State Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, and House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, sponsored legislation to “pre-empt” foreclosure mediation programs in counties or cities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 6, 2013 - State Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, and House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, sponsored legislation to “pre-empt” foreclosure mediation programs in counties or cities.

On Monday, the Missouri Senate passed Diehl and Cox's bill by a 26-7 margin. Since the measure already had passed the House, it now goes to Nixon for his consideration.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 10, 2013 - St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley told reporters that he will do what it takes to stop state legislation to nullify the county’s foreclosure mediation ordinance.

“I think it’s a bad decision. I think St. Louis County is doing what’s in the best interest of St. Louis County,” Dooley said. “I’m always going to find myself doing what is the best interest of St. Louis County. This council indicated they wanted this bill for mediation for its constituency, which was hurt severely in the foreclosure debacle. And that’s where I stand.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley told reporters that he will do what it takes to stop state legislation to nullify the county’s foreclosure mediation ordinance.

“I think it’s a bad decision. I think St. Louis County is doing what’s in the best interest of St. Louis County,” Dooley said. “I’m always going to find myself doing what is the best interest of St. Louis County. This council indicated they wanted this bill for mediation for its constituency, which was hurt severely in the foreclosure debacle. And that’s where I stand.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - A bill that would effectively nullify foreclosure mediation ordinances in St. Louis and St. Louis County is on its way to the Senate.

State Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, and House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town & Country, sponsored legislation to “pre-empt” foreclosure mediation programs in counties or cities. The House voted by a 130-24 margin on Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 5, 2013 - A bill that would effectively nullify foreclosure mediation ordinances in St. Louis and St. Louis County is on its way to the Senate.<

State Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, and House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, sponsored legislation to “pre-empt” foreclosure mediation programs in counties or cities. The House voted by a 130-24 margin on Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 6, 2013: A circuit judge slapped a temporary restraining order on St. Louis’ foreclosure mediation ordinance, effectively freezing the recently signed law for the time being.

On Tuesday, St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert Dierker ordered a 20-day hold on the ordinance, which St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signed into law in late February. Dierker’s order barred the city “from enforcing the provisions of [the ordinance] provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit voluntary participation in the program.” The Missouri Bankers Association and the Central Bank of Kansas City had sued to strike down the measure.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 8, 2013 - The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave final passage to a bill allowing a homeowner going through foreclosure to enter into mediation with a lender.

The bill – sponsored by Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed and co-sponsored by a number of aldermen – establishes a mediation process, which places a homeowner and a lender with a neutral third party. It passed the Board on Friday by a 16-8 vote, with one alderman abstaining.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 29, 2013 - Missouri's top banking association is supporting state legislation to eliminate St. Louis County’s foreclosure mediation ordinance – and prevent other jurisdictions from enacting similar programs.

But the Missouri Bankers Association’s legislative effort could run into complications in the Missouri Senate, since two of that chamber's newest members pushed for bills in the past to take similar mediation programs statewide.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 18, 2013 - The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District froze St. Louis County’s foreclosure mediation ordinance, a move that prohibits the county from enforcing the measure for the next few months.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 17, 2012 - St. Louis County Council meetings are renowned for their brevity, as they often take no more than 10 or 15 minutes to complete on a typical Tuesday night.

But folks pining for short council gatherings were probably checking their watches several times this  year. That’s because the council found itself dealing with consequential – and controversial – bills that drew the attention and ire of powerful interest groups as well as ordinary residents.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 14, 2012 - An associate circuit judge upheld a St. Louis County ordinance establishing a foreclosure mediation program for homeowners.

But the legal fight over the precedent-setting measure isn't likely over. The law, which the St. Louis County Council passed in August and amended earlier this fall, allows a homeowner facing foreclosure to enter mediation with the lender and servicer of a loan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 27, 2012 - A St. Louis County judge issued a temporary restraining order against St. Louis County's foreclosure mediation program, effectively freezing the implementation of the initiative signed into law earlier this month.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - A St. Louis County judge issued a temporary restraining order against St. Louis County's foreclosure mediation program, effectively freezing the implementation of the initiative signed into law earlier this month.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 13, 2012 - The city of St. Louis could be the next jurisdiction to implement a foreclosure mediation program, an initiative aimed at helping distressed homeowners.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said in a news release he was throwing his support behind legislation in the Board of Aldermen establishing a mediation process, which involves a homeowner, lender and servicer meeting with a neutral third party.

Lenders challenge foreclosure legislation in St. Louis City

Sep 12, 2012
(via Flickr/taberandrew)

A new ordinance could offer struggling St. Louis City homeowners an option to help avoid foreclosure.

The program would extend a loan mediation process to any homeowner who requests it from their bank, just like the one passed two weeks ago in St. Louis County. Ignoring this request would cost a lender a $500 fine.

But, banks claim the laws violate state statutes prohibiting government intervention into the foreclosure process.  They say it would mean fewer loans and increased costs.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay disagrees.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 28, 2012 - The St. Louis County Council gave final passage Tuesday night to an ordinance setting up a foreclosure mediation process, a program proponents say could slow a fast-paced system down for distressed homeowners.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 14, 2012 - The St. Louis County Council gave initial approval to an ordinance setting up a foreclosure mediation process, an issue that drew passionate testimony from advocactes of distressed homeowners and criticism from those who question the proposal's legality.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 14, 2012 - The Madison County Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation program is headquartered in a former hospital building in Wood River, but there are no miracle cures to be found here for the foreclosure ills that have plagued the nation since the financial crisis of 2008.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, wants to raise the county's minimum wage to $15 an hour.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The St. Louis County Council gave initial approval to an ordinance setting up a foreclosure mediation process, an issue that drew passionate testimony from advocates of distressed homeowners and criticism from those who question the proposal's legality.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 1, 2012 - The St. Louis County Council is mulling over legislation to set up a mediation process for residents facing foreclosure. But at least one group says the measure hasn’t come soon enough to help homeowners in jeopardy. 

And at least two organizations representing lenders are either skeptical or downright opposed to the idea.