Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011
What is foreclosure?
Foreclosure is a legal process by which the mortgage holder causes the judicial sale of the secured real estate to pay a defaulted loan. The mortgage on real estate acts as collateral for the repayment of the loan so when this loan is in default, the mortgage holder exercises its rights to take the collateral by selling the home.
What is the RMFM Program?
The RMFM Program is the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program that has been ordered by the Florida Supreme Court, and the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court. This program mandates that all homestead foreclosure lawsuits filed on or after July 12, 2010, be sent to mediation prior to any final order being issued.
How do I enter the RMFM Program?
All homestead foreclosure suits that are filed on or after July 12, 2010 will be automatically referred to the RMFM Program. The Program Manager will contact you based on information received from the lender. However, if you have been served with a foreclosure suit and/or your contact information has changed, please contact the RMFM Program directly at (866) 900-4254 (toll free)
I am a Homeowner who was served with a foreclosure lawsuit filed before July 12, 2010. Can I participate in the RMFM Program?
You may request a referral to this Program by filing a Borrower’s Request to Participate in the RMFM Program (download copy here). File this request with the Court and mail a copy of the request to the lawyer for the Lender.
Is there a cost to me to participate in the RMFM Program?
There is no cost to homeowners for this program. The Plaintiff (usually the bank) pays the required fees, which include financial counseling and the mediation session. In the event that you choose to have a second mediation session, you will have to pay $100, which is one-half of the fees for this session. The Program anticipates that one mediation session will be sufficient for most cases and this second mediation is optional.
What financial disclosure information will I need to provide to the lender to proceed to mediation?
Most borrowers will need to file the Foreclosure Mediation Financial Worksheet (click here for that document).
Homeowners must sign and then mail, hand-deliver or fax the Release (last page of the financial agreement) to the RMFM program before the Program can schedule mediation.
Mail or hand-deliver to: Palm Beach County Bar Association, RMFM Program, 1601 Belvedere Road, Suite 304E, West Palm Beach, FL 33406.
Fax to: (561) 598-6265
Email with Release as a pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org
Borrowers will need to file Fannie Mae Hardship Form 1021 if they are seeking a Short Sale or Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. (click here for that form)
For short sales, borrowers also need to file a signed purchase contract for the residence or a listing agreement for the sale of the residence, a preliminary HUD -1 form, and written permission from the borrower authorizing the bank or the bank's representative to speak with the real estate agent about the borrower's loan.
For Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure, a current title search for the residence should also be uploaded.
What is a short sale?
A short sale is a sale for less than you owe on the mortgage loan.
What is a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure?
A Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure is when you voluntarily execute a deed that transfers the property to the lender in exchange for the lender canceling, in part or in whole, the debt owed on the property.
Do I have the right to consult with an attorney?
Yes. You have the right to consult with an attorney at any time during the mediation process and to bring an attorney with you to the mediation session. You do not have to have an attorney; you may represent yourself. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may call the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County and inquire about their pro bono foreclosure assistance program, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., (561) 655-8944 ext. 325 or (toll free) 800-403-9353 ext. 325. You may also contact the Lawyer Referral Program at the Palm Beach County Bar Association by calling (561) 687-3266 or (561) 451-3256 (Boca/Delray). There is a $30 fee for a half-hour consultation with an attorney through the Lawyer Referral Service.
Do all Borrowers who signed the mortgage need to attend the mediation session?
Yes, all Borrowers must be present at the mediation session. If not all Borrowers can attend, the Borrower not attending should bring a completed Power of Attorney for the other Borrower.
What happens if we cannot settle during the mediation?
The parties can agree to continue to another mediation session. If that session cannot be scheduled for the same day, this session is optional and both parties have to pay one-half of the fee, or $100 each for this additional session. If the parties cannot agree at all, and reach an impasse, then the case is returned to the court.
What happens if I do not attend mediation?
The case is returned to the court.
Link to Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation
Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure – FREE!
presented by the Palm Beach County Bar Association & The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County
Find out how the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program Can Help You
Date: Thursday, February 3, 2011
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Place: Jupiter Branch Library, 705 Military Trail, Jupiter
Attend this seminar and find out how you can benefit from mediation.
Speak to attorneys from Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County regarding the foreclosure process.
Space is limited. To reserve your seat, call the Palm Beach County Bar Association at (561) 687-2800
or RSVP by email