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Lawmakers approve extending foreclosure mediation law

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Lawmakers have approved a bill to extend an expiring law that keeps families in their homes to avoid foreclosure.

The bill heads to the governor. The General Assembly approved it as the session ended late Saturday.

A 2013 law requires mortgage lenders to participate in mediation with homeowners facing foreclosure to try to prevent it. The law expires July 1 but the bill moves the sunset provision to July 1, 2023.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin requested an extension, calling it good public policy.

Nearly 1,000 homeowners have sought mediation since 2013.

RIHousing, which administers the program, says more than 70 percent of homeowners who used mediation reached an agreement to stay in their home.

State Sen. Harold Metts, a Providence Democrat, says he hopes to eventually make the provision permanent.

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By The Associated Press