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Tag: Tina Orwall


Gov. Chris Gregoire signs foreclosure mediation bill

Help is on the way for some Washington homeowners facing foreclosure under a bill Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law Thursday.

House Bill 1362, which goes into effect in July will give indebted homeowners more time, more counseling and third-party mediation with their lenders before losing their homes in a move that makes Washington the third non-judicial foreclosure state in the nation to pass a foreclosure mediation law.

“I’m very proud,” said Rep. Tina Orwall, a Des Moines Democrat and the measure’s primary sponsor. “It puts us out leading in the nation to help homeowners through this crisis.”

The final bill was the result of negotiations between banks and anti-poverty advocates in the state, said state Housing Finance Commission Director Kim Herman, and it should to give lenders and homeowners more opportunities to reach agreements that keep Washington residents in their homes.

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State Legislature approves foreclosure mediation for Washington

Washington is poised to become the third non-judicial foreclosure state in the nation to offer a third-party mediation process for struggling homeowners thanks to a bill that passed out of the state Legislature today.

In a 78-15 vote, the state House of Representatives passed House Bill 1362, a proposal meant to slow foreclosures in Washington, sending the measure on to the governor.

“Really what this means for Washington is that homeowners are going to have a chance to sit down with their lenders before they lose their homes,” said Marcy Bowers, interim director of the Statewide Poverty Action Network. “We hope this will cut down on the confusion and the frustration and, ultimately on foreclosures.”

The bill would charge banks a $250 fee for every property they foreclose on and use the money to add housing counselors in Washington.

Counselors would also be able to refer people to a mediation process where a third-party mediator could determine whether the lender and borrower had followed the rules and “acted in good faith” during mediation. Failing to do so would be a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.

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Safeco Field taxes bill finally drops with money shifting to arts, housing and convention center expansion

King County Executive Dow Constantine has been preparing a bill that would divvy up some of the taxes that are now paying off the bonds for Safeco Field. But it too until Day 40 of the session for an actual bill to surface.

If a bill doesn’t pass this session, the taxes expire when the bonds are retired, probably sometime in late summer.

House Bill 1997 by Des Moines Democrat Tina Orwall would divide up the half-cent food and bar tax and two chunks of car rental taxes, both collected only in King County. The money would go to 4Culture ( a King County public development authority that funds various arts, culture and heritage institutions) to low-income housing and to a new fund to pay for tourism-related projects in the Pioneer Square and International District neighborhoods near the baseball and football stadiums.

Russ Carmack photo, 2004

Finally, some of the money _ actually quite a bit – would help pay for an expansion of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle.

Here’s a PDF of HB 1997. Read more »


State flood insurance passes House

The House followed the Senate tonight in passing a bill giving the state insurance commissioner authority that could allow him to create an insurance pool for businesses in the Green River Valley that need flood insurance.

If the system were created, insurance policyholders all over the state could be on the hook if the valley floods.

Rep. Tina Orwall said businesses that employ 86,000 people in the area are threatened by not knowing what might happen over the coming years, as federal engineers fix the leaking abutment that has left a chink in the armor of the Howard

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