Unlike arbitration the mediation process is voluntary and confidential. As trained neutral professionals, mediators facilitate agreements. At its best mediation empowers the parties to take control of the outcome of their case by mutual agreement.
Diane McWhirter received certification from the Florida Supeme Court as a Family Law and County Law mediator in 1991 and in 2010 as a Circuit Civil mediator, including probate, guardianship and foreclosure mediations.
HOW MORTGAGE MODIFICATION MEDIATION IN BANKRUPTCY SUCCEEDS
The Bankruptcy court located in Orlando, Florida, recently designed the Loss Mitigation Mediation Program to help Central Floridian bankruptcy filers retain their homes. This new program has been used in Chapter 7 cases only since the summer of 2014. In Chapter 13 cases, however, statistics show the program has been successful in the Orlando Division of the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida at a rate of more than 70% for 2012 and 2013. Success occurs when a lender provides the HomeOwner a proposed modified mortgage within a reasonable time.
This process is successful in part because the Bankruptcy court can remove barriers to the modification such as credit card debt and second mortgages, that the state court system cannot remove. This allows many HomeOwners to qualify for a modification that would not qualify outside of bankruptcy.
The mediation gives the Homeowner and the Lender a common goal of working on the Home Owner’s loan modification application within a set timeframe. It gives the Lender and the Home Owner an occasion to meet and exchange information working toward that goal. It gives the Home Owner another chance to save the home. The process can be used, even if the homeowner suffered past modification denials, or had defaulted on a prior modification.
Either the Lender or the Homeowner initiates the Mediation by filing a Motion with the bankruptcy court. Once ordered the Bankruptcy Judges and the Chapter 13 trustee require and enforce good faith participation by both Lender and Home Owner. The bankruptcy court is strongly committed to a successful program. The program gives the Home Owner a real chance to save the realty.