- Why do I have to deal with a Mediation Program Manager?
In 2009 the Supreme Court of Florida mandated that each Circuit Court in Florida adopt an administrative order that sets out the use of mediation in the first 120 days after filing a foreclosure action in Florida. As a result of this mandate the 6th Circuit selected MMI as Program Managers. See AO 2010-25 PA/PI Cir. for all of the requirements.
- What is foreclosure mediation?
In foreclosure mediation, a neutral third party (mediator) meets with the homeowner and lender to explore ideas and options to avoid foreclosure and reaching a voluntary, negotiated agreement. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong. Foreclosure mediation does not stop the foreclosure lawsuit/litigation process; rather it is a supplemental process that occurs simultaneously in the first 120 days of the lawsuit. All time and pleading requirements in the lawsuit/litigation process remain ongoing and a party must respond to those accordingly.
- Is there a fee to participate in a Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program?
The plaintiff (lender or loan servicing agent) pays the program management fees, $400.00 at the time of filing the case and $350.00 when mediation is set. There are no fees required of the borrower to enter the program. However, if mediation does not settle the case, all or part of the mediation program fees may be assessed against the borrower as costs if the case proceeds to a final hearing in front of a judge and the judge agrees to the assessment.
- Who are the mediators?
The MMI foreclosure mediators are independent Fla. Supreme Court Circuit Civil Certified Mediators, with residential mortgage foreclosure mediation and foreclosure law training.
- Will the mediator issue a decision in my case?
No. All the mediator does is help the parties look at the dispute more objectively, discuss options for a workout of the mortgage problem, listen to each side, and help the participants look at solutions. The mediator makes no decision, judgment or recommendation on the outcome of the mortgage foreclosure case.
- Who has to attend the mediation?
It is expected that each Administrative order will require the Plaintiff’s attorney to be present; A lender’s representative with full authority to make all decisions necessary to reach a settlement; all borrowers must be present at the mediation session(For example, if a husband and wife signed the mortgage then both will need to be present for the mediation) and the mediator. Roll Call will be taken at each mediation session to identify who is present and their role at the mediation.
- Is the mediation confidential?
Yes, discussions in the mediation session are confidential, with limited exceptions.
- Where will the mediation session be held?
The mediation will be at a Mediation Managers, Inc. office in the County where your mortgage foreclosure was filed. Click here for locations, addresses, and telephone numbers.
- What happens if we can’t settle?
If the parties cannot settle at the mediation, the parties may agree to negotiate further or the case will be returned to court and foreclosure proceeding will continue.
- What happens if I do not attend the mediation appointment?
If the lender does not appear at the scheduled mediation appointment, the case is returned to the circuit court with notification of this failure with the foreclosure proceedings moving forward, subject to sanctions as the court determines.
- What are the general guidelines that must be met to get to mediation?
There are several key components for getting to mediation and the basic ones are listed here:
- FORM A FILING BY LENDER/PLAINTIFF (CLICK HERE FOR BLANK FORM “A” or CLICK HERE TO LOG-IN);
- CONTACT MMI BY BORROWER/DEFENDANT AFTER FORM A FILING (CLICK HERE FOR CONTACT INFORMATION);
- BORROWER COMPLETION OF FINANACIAL COUNSELING and BORROWER FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORMS;
- BORROWER UPLOADS FORMS TO MMI’S SECURE, RESTRICTED PALTFORM; Warning you need the Case Number for the case before trying to upload a Form A.
- PLAINTIFF PROVIDES FINANCIAL INFORMATION TO BORROWER, IF REQUESTED;
- MEDIATION SET FOR DATE AND TIME WITHIN 120 DAYS OF FORM A FILING.
- What documents must a Plaintiff file to start the mediation management process?
The court document is known as Form “A” must be uploaded to MMI’s secure, restricted web-based platform. This is accomplished by obtaining a username and password and then moving to the secure restricted side of the platform for m where the Form A is uploaded in pdf format. Several drop-downs for information are requested prior to uploading the form. Providing this information, the Form “A” upload, and payment of the pre-mediation service fee of $400.00 starts the process and complies with the Administrative Order entered by the 6th Judicial Circuit.