What is Foreclosure Mediation?
Mediation is when two conflicting parties meet to resolve disagreements and find a resolution outside of a courtroom with the help of a neutral third party. Mediation is designed to be an outlet for two sides to be able to communicate their concerns and it is guided by a neutral third party. In foreclosure mediation this communication between both sides helps insure that every alternative to foreclosure is strongly considered with the hope that an agreement can be reached that would not result in foreclosure.
Who is Involved in a Foreclosure Mediation?
Foreclosure Mediation occurs between a homeowner and a lender along with the help of a neutral third party to help facilitate dialogue and make sure each side is able to make a fair argument. The neutral third party is an administrative law judge with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) who is trained in mediation. Their goal is to assist the parties in finding common ground and helping them reach a solution that is satisfactory to both parties.
What You Need to Know as a Homeowner
You have the right to request mediation once the lender initiates foreclosure proceedings with the court system. Once that happens, the lender must send a “Request for Foreclosure Mediation” form. You will have 25 days to complete the form and file it with the Circuit Court to have your request for mediation granted.
OAH will schedule mediations around the state depending on where the foreclosure action has been filed. Your “Request for Foreclosure Mediation” form must be sent to the Circuit Court in the county or city where your foreclosure action has been filed by your lender’s attorney. You must also send the form to the attorney handling the foreclosure for your lender.
Important Details to Remember
- Homeowners must pay a non-refundable $50 fee to the Circuit Court when they formally file this request for mediation.
- Both the $50 fee and “Request for Foreclosure Mediation” form must be sent to the Circuit Court in the county or city where your foreclosure action has been filed. The form must also be sent to the lender’s attorney.
- This is the only time you will be offered the opportunity to request foreclosure mediation. If you do not submit your “Request for Foreclosure Mediation” form and non-refundable $50 fee during the 25 day time frame, you will not be given another chance to do so.
- Only homeowners who are living in the foreclosed property as their primary residence can participate in the mediation program. The mediation program is not open to homeowners of foreclosed rental or commercial properties. Meaning if you own a property but do not live at that property, you are not eligible to participate in the foreclosure mediation program.
MARYLAND MEDIATION – Don’t Face Your Lender Alone!
Get legal help from non-profit legal services providers at Maryland Foreclosure Mediation
DHCD supports a network of nonprofit legal services providers that provide free or reduced fee foreclosure prevention legal services. Don’t face your lender alone! Get legal help from nonprofit legal services providers at Maryland Foreclosure Mediation. Low and Moderate Income Households may be eligible for free legal representation from:
|Legal Services Organization
||County Where Property is Located |
|Allegany Law Foundation
|Civil Justice, Inc.
|Statewide - reduced fee legal assistance for moderate income households (income under $100,000)|
|Community Legal Services
|Legal Aid Bureau
|Baltimore City, Montgomery, Prince George’s|
|Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
|Anne Arundel, Baltimore County, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Calvert, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Washington, Wicomico|
|Mid Shore Pro Bono
|Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Talbot, Queen Anne|
|St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
(410) 366-8550, ext. 235
|Central Maryland - Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard|
If you seek help from other entities, DON’T GET SCAMMED – DON’T PAY UP FRONT FEES! For more information on how to avoid being scammed and what to do if you have any concerns, visit Avoid Fraud
You should not wait until you can request mediation before attempting to save your home. The opportunity to participate in mediation occurs at a late stage in the foreclosure process and does not guarantee that you can avoid foreclosure. Contact your lender and a housing counselor at the earliest sign of financial difficulty. You can get a list of the housing counseling agencies near you by calling the MDHOPE hotline at 877-462-7555 or view a complete list of DHCD supported housing counseling agencies.
After you have completed your mediation, please visit https://s.zoomerang.com/s/DHCD_Mediation_Survey to provide feedback through a survey administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Your comments are valuable and appreciated.
If you have any additional questions, you can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org