Friday, October 03, 2008

What's Going on With Indiana's Governor's Race?

From Bloosier Hysteria:
Research 2000: Obama -1, Long Thompson -1:
"According to new Research 2000 polling, JLT fans shouldn't throw in the towel quite yet. After yesterday's gut checking SUSA 16 point Daniels lead, Indiana's gubernatorial race seems to be in a state of utter confusion."

From Blue Indiana:
Mixed messages on the gubernatorial contest
There have been four polls of the race for governor in the last few weeks. Two showed the contest within the margin of error. Two showed the contest hopelessly out of reach.

It's madness.

And thus, the landscape of this race is simultaneously static and in upheaval. Nothing has palpably changed in the last month -- least of all after the first two lackluster debates -- and yet we have statewide surveys showing surges and stagnation. Jill Long Thompson is pointing to numbers that show her within striking distance, trying to jumpstart a fundraising effort that looks to have derailed. Mitch Daniels and the Republicans have declared this race effectively over, and have won over a number of statewide and national observers.

From Indiana Commercial Foreclosure Law:

This is not a political blog, and I generally do not write about residential or consumer issues. From time to time, however, there is political news targeted mainly to the consumer that I feel may be of interest to secured lenders who deal with business debts. Today's Indianapolis Star article "Long Thompson Offers Plan To Reduce Foreclosures" is one of those news stories.

Ms. Long Thompson's proposal includes items that could adversely affect a business lender's efforts to foreclose on commercial properties in a timely and cost-effective manner. It first bears mentioning that, as noted in last week's post, Indiana is a judicial foreclosure state. Relatively speaking, Indiana foreclosures already involve court-based delays and litigation-related costs that cut against lenders and in favor of borrowers.

Nevertheless, Ms. Long Thompson wants to require borrowers and lenders to mediate before the Court can enter a judgment and order a sheriff's sale. In Indiana, mediation is a non-binding settlement conference that brings the parties and lawyers face-to-face and involves an independent intermediary. Mediators (and Courts) can't force parties to settle, however. Moreover, in my experience, filing a suit to foreclose usually is the lender's last resort. Contrary to popular opinion, in the vast majority of cases, lenders don't want to foreclose. They prefer to work something out (settle). My point is that efforts will have been made to settle the case before the foreclosure proceedings have even begun, and indeed such efforts can continue after suit is filed. To mandate that lenders, against their will, incur additional delays and expense to formally mediate would, in all due respect to Ms. Long Thompson, seemingly be a waste of time and money.

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