In North Carolina, Sen. Clark Jenkins (D-Tarboro) has introduced legislation that would oblige banks to engage in formal mediation with homeowners before initiating foreclosure proceedings. "There's still problems with the big banks and their mortgage servicers on getting good mortgage servicing," said the N.C. Justice Center's Al Ripley, who helped Jenkins draw up the bill. A $25 billion national settlement last year was meant to improve servicing and foreclosure practices, but Jenkins says distressed homeowners remain embroiled in "horror stories" as banks continue some of the questionable activities. Not least among them, according to media reports, is the practice of "dual-tracking," or moving forward with foreclosure even as a borrower is seeking a loan workout. Foreclosure mediation -- in place in nearly half of the states, according to the N.C. Justice Center -- would put an end to dual-tracking.