So you’ve pursued all your options, explored every foreclosure prevention avenue, and even checked to see if your state offers a Hardest Hit Fund, but you still don’t seem to be able to find any alternative for bankruptcy. Is it time to just give up and resign yourself to foreclosure?
Foreclosure mediation is a last step you can take before you head into foreclosure proceedings. This mediation process allows you as the borrower and your lender to come together in a neutral forum overseen by a third party, where you can work to avoid foreclosure by reaching an agreement that both sides can agree with.
How foreclosure mediation works
Foreclosure mediation works by brining the lender and borrower together with neutral third party oversight, in order to work toward reaching an agreement that avoids foreclosure. The idea is that neither party wants to deal with foreclosure—you want to keep your house, the bank doesn’t want yet another foreclosed property it can’t turn with a sale.
In some cases, you may renegotiate the terms of your mortgage with your lender to make your mortgage more manageable. This can include interest rate negotiation, loan modification to reduce the principal, or the establishment of a repayment plan. In other cases, foreclosure is avoided in another way, such as a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
Is foreclosure mediation available everywhere?
Foreclosure mediation programs are offered on a state level and not all states offer the same thing. Some states mandate foreclosure mediation as a first step in their foreclosure process. Other states have foreclosure mediation programs you can use if you decide it’s a good option for you to take. A few states don’t have any form of foreclosure mediation program available. You can call a HUD-certified housing counselor in your local area to see if your state has a foreclosure mediation program and get details on how your state’s program works.
Foreclosure mediation in Florida
Although Florida had a Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mandatory Mediation Program, the Florida Supreme Court terminated the mandated program as of December, 2011. This doesn’t mean the foreclosure mediation program is completely gone, it’s just not mandated by the state as part of the foreclosure process. Instead, each of the 20 judicial circuits in Florida are decide on a local level what they want to have.
In light of this, the availability and process of foreclosure mediation may vary depending upon where you live in Florida. Give us a call at 1-800-990-9838 to speak with a HUD-certified Florida housing counselor who can provide up-to-date information on your area. They can also review all the foreclosure avoidance options you have available and help you work to find a solution that will work for you.