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Judge OKs Foreclosure Mediation Law

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - A new St. Louis County ordinance that requires lenders to enter into mediation with distressed borrowers before foreclosing on their property can go into effect, a state judge ruled.

St. Louis County Associate Circuit Judge Brenda Stith Loftin lifted a temporary restraining order Wednesday.

Stith Loftin issued the restraining order in September at the request of the Missouri Bankers Association and Jonesburg State Bank.

Jane Dueker, an attorney for the lenders, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her clients would appeal.

In lifting the retraining order, Stith Loftin found that St. Louis County had the authority to enact the ordinance, that it was a valid exercise of power and that it was not pre-empted by state law.

Lenders and homeowners who request mediation will now be required to meet, but they don't have to reach an agreement, and lenders will have to pay $450 for the mediation session.

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