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Special master to hasten foreclosure negotiations

January 6, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A federal judge has appointed the former president of Bank Rhode Island as a special master to bring together borrowers and lenders to negotiate settlements and pick up the pace of federal lawsuits intended to halt home foreclosures,

The Providence Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/uGz8Jy) that Judge John J. McConnell Jr. appointed Merrill. Sherman, former president and chief executive of Bancorp Rhode Island. Brookline Bancorp Inc. of Brookline, Mass., acquired Bank Rhode Island Tuesday.

Lawyer George E. Babcock, who has filed nearly 200 federal lawsuits to stop lenders from foreclosing on his clients' homes, said McConnell is sending a message to borrowers and lenders.

McConnell authorized Sherman to order parties to negotiate to resolve the mortgage disputes and establish the process and forms for parties on both sides to get necessary information.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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