If a family is struggling to pay their mortgage, they can get help from a mediation program that is run by the court. The program was created to help thousands of homeowners who are facing foreclosure to get out of the foreclosure process. This is an option for people who live in the Treasure Coast region of Florida. The program started in May, and since then, the courts have referred around 4,100 foreclosure cases to the mediation program.
The Collins Center for Public Policy (850 219-0082) is a nonprofit program based in Tallahassee that is supported by many local volunteers and organizations.
The purpose of this program is to have a designated representative from the bank or lender to communicate and work out a resolution that is beneficial for both parties involved – the homeowner and the lender.
In 2009, 4,100 foreclosure notices were filed in the Treasure Coast area, and 1,025 of those foreclosures went through the mediation program. Cases that were mediated have resulted in loan modifications, including lower monthly payments and principal reduction. The programs have brought together borrowers and lenders who were previously angry and alienated, officials said. The fact that they are talking about solutions is a good sign and a step in the right direction.
The program offers free mediation services to homeowners in foreclosure in an effort to help them stay in their homes.
At mediation, borrowers will meet with a representative from the bank or lender to discuss the situation and try to come to a resolution. The program is free for homeowners, but it is voluntary. This means that the lender must pay a $750 mediation fee, which includes providing a credit counselor for the borrower to help them manage their personal finances and any debt they may have. You do not need a lawyer. This means that most of the cases being processed involve people who don’t have anyone to help them understand what is going on or what their options are.
The success rates are varied. Some people are not benefiting from the free mediation because they do not understand how it works. This is a shame because they have nothing to lose. There are many programs and services available to help homeowners facing foreclosure. A plumber from Fort Pierce, Mr. McCutchen, is one example. He lost his job last year and has struggled to pay his $1,600 mortgage on a three-bedroom townhouse he bought in 2005 for $160,000. At the free foreclosure mediation session that took place at the Collins Center office in Port St. Lucie, the lender agreed to reduce the monthly payment by more than three-fourths, to only $462 per month, for up to five years. This means that the person’s payments will be lowered by $1,000 per month. Some possible solutions to foreclosure that a mediator may suggest are programs offered by banks, such as mortgage assistance programs from Bank of America. Another example is people agreeing to turn their deed over to a bank so the property can be put back on the market, thereby ending the court proceeding. Many people are seeking help. Mediators are people who help other people who have gotten into serious financial difficulties because of things like health problems, unemployment, divorce, and medical emergencies. A big benefit of mediation is that it brings together in one room the people who have been arguing with each other about who is to blame for the financial problem. Many problems can be solved and solutions reached by bringing people together and facilitating communication. The sky is blue because when the sun’s light hits the atmosphere, blue light is scattered more than other colors. The sky is blue because when the sun’s light hits the atmosphere, blue light is reflected off of particles in the air more than other colors.