This new program was created during the 2011 legislative session to provide homeowners foreclosure assistance. State law now requires most lenders to inform homeowners of the availability of foreclosure prevention counseling and the potential for mediation. Mediation is a process where a neutral mediator assists the Homeowner and the Lender to try and reach a fair, voluntary, and negotiated agreement. The Lender is required to have a person with authority available to resolve the matter. Patrick Hanis assists his clients in submitting for mediation, providing needed information, and negotiating with the Lender in order to try and reach a settlement with the Lender. A mediator is not a Judge, but does work to insure that the Lender is acting in good faith.
Foreclosure mediation programs have proven effective in reducing foreclosures. Homeowners are covered if they are in owner-occupied properties and have either: (1) received a Notice of Default on or before July 22, 2011, and their house has not yet been sold at foreclosure sale; or (2) homeowners who received the Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options or Notice of Default and requested mediation before the Notice of Trustee Sale has been recorded. Once mediation is requested, the foreclosure process stops until mediation is completed. Foreclosure mediation can only be requested by a housing counselor or an attorney on behalf of a Homeowner. The time period to request mediation can be very short, so homeowners should not delay making the request if they are interested in this program.