Whitehouse urges banks to sit down and work with homeowners

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said homeowners are frustrated by not being able to work out their mortgage problems with bank representatives, and their failure to connect with someone who can make decisions is contributing to the foreclosure crises.

When bankruptcy courts require bankers and homeowners to sit down banks rarely contest the agreements, he said.

"When a person's home is at stake, as simple as forcing the bank to send somebody who is a human being who has the authority to talk to this person and to resolve the issue, to sit down with them," said Whitehouse. "That's basically the bottom line."

With much success, Whitehouse said, Rhode Island's bankruptcy court mediation program requires in-person meetings.

The Mortgage Bankers Association ranks Rhode Island 8th in the nation in foreclosures. The state has one of the highest rates in New England.

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