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 he 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 "Requestion 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 the "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.
You may file a Request for Waiver of Filing Fee for Foreclosure Mediation.
If the Court does not grant your request for a fee waiver or fee reduction in its entirety, the Court shall specify in its order the dollar amount that you must pay and the amount of time, not to exceed ten (10) days, within which you must make payment to the Court. If you do not make payment within the time allowed, your request for foreclosure mediation will be stricken.
Only Homeowners who are living 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 (i.e. if you own a property but do not live at that property, you are not eligible to participate in the foreclosure mediation program).
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.
Maryland Hope Hotline
The State of Maryland has created a website to guide you to resources that may be available to assist both homeowners and renters facing foreclosure. The site includes information to help you understand the foreclosure process and the options that may be available to you. You can also find information that will lead you to a local housing counseling agency in your area that can assist you on a more personalized level. Maryland Hope Hotline 1-877-462-7555
Maryland's Foreclosure Mediation Law took effect July 1, 2010. The law requires mortgage lenders and servicers to be much more responsive to homeowners facing foreclosure. The goal of the law is to help homeowners get relief through a loan modification, if they qualify, or to find an alternative to foreclosure. The law gives homeowners a new opportunity to meet with the lender and an independent party to ensure that alternatives to foreclosure have been considered and evaluated.
Mediation is a process that can be used to resolve disagreements outside a courtroom. Both sides meet with a neutral third party who tries to help them find a resolution. "Foreclosure Mediation" under this new law is designed to help foster a dialogue between homeowners and lenders to make sure a fair assessment is made and the homeowner is offered any options for which they may qualify. Information regarding mediation is available on the Maryland Hope website.
Maryland State Bar Association
The Public Awareness Committee of the Maryland State Bar Association has prepared information regarding the foreclosure process and made it available online. The information is intended to inform the public and not serve as legal advice.