Florida Courts Require Mediation Before Foreclosing

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Florida Courts Require Mediation Before Foreclosing

florida real estate mediation2010 is here, and the Florida court system has announced that banks and lending institutions MUST mediate before foreclosing on a real estate home.  I wrote an earlier article: Could Home Foreclosure Mediation Be Mandatory Soon? and now the court system in the state is intervening.

Now, both the lenders and borrowers on homesteaded Florida properties will have to meet at the bargaining table.  This court order, carried out by Chief Judge Peggy Quince, guarantees an audience for distressed homeowners and the lending institutions to discuss all available options from loan modifications or short sales before foreclosure.

Banks will be responsible to pay the court costs for each potential foreclosure, which will cost them approximately $750 each. Judges are hoping that this new requirement will help reduce the thousands of foreclosure cases taking over the court systems.

Distressed homeowners must be referred to counseling before mediation.  The mediation must take place no earlier than 60 days and no later than 120 days after a foreclosure suit is filed.  Also, non-profit organizations, such as the Collins Center for Public Policy, must be provied with mediators specially trained in mortgage foreclosure.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association in the third quarter of 2009, Florida’s 12.74 percent rate of home loans in foreclosure was the nation’s highest. As a result, 441,440 Florida home loans were in foreclosure at that time.

Hopefully, this new policy will help distressed homeowners remodify their loans or agree to do a short sale.  It is important that homeowners call their banks and speak with a real estate agent along with a real estate attorney.  Please give us a call at 954-609-0591 if you are in need of assistance.

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