ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The Missouri Bankers Association is fighting a new St. Louis city law that would force lenders to sit down with homeowners facing foreclosure to try to find a way for them to keep their house.

Circuit Judge Robert Dierker has put a 20 day freeze on the ordinance to allow time for a hearing so both sides can argue their case.

The bankers think foreclosure mediation laws, like the one they are also fighting in St. Louis County, would have ill effects on the region’s housing market.

Backers of the city plan, including the Slay Administration, argue it evens the playing field for homeowners who often have a hard time getting their lender to talk with them before they’re evicted.

Judge Dierker says he consider the suit based on case law, what’s in the public interest and whether the law might cause “irreparable harm.”

A hearing is set for March 20th.

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