Information for the Public
FREE FORECLOSURE MEDIATION
Download our Brochure, Free Mediation to Prevent Foreclosure
Frequently Asked Questions
Foreclosure and Mortgage Modification Mediation FAQs
What is Mediation?
Learn more about mediation in general
Alabama has been one of the hardest hit states with respect to foreclosures. The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Inc., has been offering a FREE foreclosure mortgage modification mediation program to Homeowners.
TEMPORARY HALT TO NEW CASES
However, due to a change in grant funds, we will not be accepting any new cases under this program until new grant funds have been secured. The Center will pay for the cost of wrapping up all open cases (there are over 90 cases open). We hope to resume new medations this spring.
More resources to help are listed below...
In 2013, ACDR received a grant from the Attorney General’s Office to establish a foreclosure prevention / mortgage modification mediation program.
The program allows specially-trained mediators to assist Alabama citizens with foreclosure and mortgage problems by mediating between the homeowner and the mortgage holder. The ACDR will pay for most of the cost of the mediators to mediate homeownership issues allowing homeowners to resolve their problems at no or low cost.
WHAT IS MORTGAGE MODIFICATION MEDIATION?
This type of mediation is a confidential and voluntary process where you and the servicer may discuss ways to resolve your homeowner issues with an impartial third party called a mediator. Mediation can be an effective intervention tool particularly when used early.
HOW DO HOMEOWNER’S KNOW
THEY WANT TO MEDIATE?
Of course, the ideal situation is for the homeowner and the servicer to communicate on their own, but we all know that talking to a servicer can be intimidating, overwhelming or confusing. When communication is difficult or has broken down, this is a time to use mediation.
WHEN TO MEDIATE?
Mediation can occur any time really, but the best time is pre-foreclosure within the first 90 days after the first missed payment. As of January 14th, 2014, we have new national servicing guidelines setting forth timelines in which both the homeowner/borrower and the servicer must act.
Whether you have a housing counselor, a lawyer, or are on your own, you can ask your servicer, the person who is receiving your mortgage payments, to participate in mediation. Most servicers are incentivize to participate in these types of programs. You may then call the Center and request a list of approved mediators. You then contact the mediator that you and the servicer have selected and schedule a time for a mediation.
If you are post-foreclosure in the circuit court or appellate court you may request mortgage modification mediation. You may also request mediation in bankruptcy court as well.
Learn more by downloading our new brochure, Free Mediation to Prevent Foreclosure Brochure .
How does this Mediation Program work?
If a homeowner is in imminent threat or has missed a mortgage payment, then they need to act fast. Early intervention provides the most opportunity with the most options.
1. FIND A HOUSING COUNSELOR
To get started, a homeowner may handle this on their own, but if they want help they should find a lawyer, or contact a HUD approved housing counselor to assist them. You can go to makinghomeaffordable.gov to locate an approved housing counselor in your area.
Department of Treasury/HUD
(888) 995-HOPE (4673) -- Open 24/7
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
2. FIND A FORECLOSURE PREVENTION MEDIATOR
Whether you have a housing counselor or a lawyer or on your own, you can ask your servicer, the company or person receiving your mortgage payments, to participate in mediation.
Next, use our website (www.alabamaadr.org) to find a specially-trained foreclosure mediator on our Find a Foreclosure Mediator page. We have trained over 50 mediators from Florence to Mobile.
Or contact ACDR by phone at
(334) 269-0409 and request a list of approved mediators in your area.
3. SCHEDULE A MEDIATION
The homeowner and mortgage servicer should jointly select a mediator, then contact and and schedule a time for a mediation. As a neutral party, the mediator will help to find a mutually agreeable resolution to the mortgage problem.
Common Types of Mortgage Modifications
- Capitalizing arrearages
- Reducing the Interest Rate
- Extending the Amortization Term to 40 years
- Principal Forbearance
- Payments Reduced to 31% of Gross Income
- Principal Reduction
Alabama Legal Help - Foreclosure
alabamalegalhelp.org/issues/housing/foreclosure-1 Self Help and guidance if you are facing foreclosure, there may be an option that will let you keep your home.
Alabama State Bar Foreclosure Legal Resources
alabar.org/foreclosure/index.cfm For Free Legal Help call the
Legal Services Alabama Foreclosure Hotline 1-877-393-2333
STEP 1. Don't ignore the problem. The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan and the more likely that you will lose your house.
STEP 2. Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem. Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times.
STEP 3. Call 888-995-HOPE (4673)
Absolutely free foreclosure prevention counseling by expert counselors at HUD-approved agencies.
HUD Housing Counselors in Alabama
searchstate=AL provides a searchable list of HUD approved housing counseling agencies.
Legal Services Alabama
www.legalservicesalabama.org or call (866) 456-4995
Hardest Hit Alabama
www.hardesthitalabama.com or call
Department of Treasury/HUD
www.makinghomeaffordable.gov or call (888) 995-HOPE (4673)
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
www.consumer.finance.gov or call (855) 411-CFPB (2372)
National Consumer Law Center