foreclosure_signs_web.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Pre-foreclosure cases are being added to an experimental mortgage foreclosure mediation program that operates in six of Florida's 20 court circuits.

The Collins Center for Public Policy, a Tallahassee think tank, runs the program and announced the expansion Friday.

Government-backed mortgage giant Fannie Mae has directed its loan servicers to participate in the pre-foreclosure mediation.

Program director Ned Pope call it a “game changer'' that will save homeowners, lenders and the courts time and money.

The program operates in two circuits covering 10 western Panhandle counties and four circuits serving Miami-Dade, Hardee, Highlands, Polk, DeSoto, Manatee, Sarasota, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.