The Real Deal Miami

Court: Mediation before foreclosure

December 29, 2009 04:45PM

The Florida Supreme Court has ordered homeowners and their lenders to pursue mediation and compromise before entering foreclosure proceedings. A glut of these suits has strained the state court system, and Chief Judge Peggy Quince is aiming to ease the pressure on all parts of the system by guaranteeing homeowners the chance to discuss loan modifications and short sales as options with their lenders prior to a foreclosure hearing. Lenders will have to front the costs for the new statewide program, paying a maximum mediation fee of $750 per case to cover the mediator and administrative expenses. A version of the mandatory program will be approved by individual circuit courts. “We’re not interested in forcing people to settle, but there seems to be an inability to communicate between the borrower and the lender,” said Jennifer Bailey, 11th Circuit Court Judge and chairwoman of the statewide task force. [Palm Beach Post]