The Florida Bar is trying to do something to help relieve the foreclosure logjam in Florida courts. The Florida Bar News reports that the Bar’s foreclosure task form is urging the Florida legislature to adopt the Bar’s “managed mediation program.” The mediation program administers foreclosure cases under a separate case management program and which requires mediation between homeowner and lender in contested foreclosure cases. The program calls for the lender to pay the $750 mediation fee.
The managed mediation procedure makes it possible for courts to handle foreclosure cases more efficiently. The Bar article states that foreclosures constitute about 75% of civil court dockets. More importantly, mediation procedure mandates participation by a lender representative with authority to settle foreclosure cases.
I have found that one of biggest problems my own clients have experienced dealing with troubled real estate is their inability to communicate with a lender employee who has the authority to make decisions on mortgage modification, short sale, deeds in lieu, and other settlements. When mediation is required, the homeowner is assured his opportunity to communicate with a lender agent with authority to make a decision. Mediation, I think, helps upside down homeowners negotiate release from liability or a meaningful mortgage modification.