How does the homeowner apply for foreclosure mediation?
In Fond du Lac County, the Summons and Complaint served on the homeowner must contain notice of the availability of mediation and an application form.A homeowner requesting mediation should follow the directions on the form and send the mediation application form to the Foreclosure Mediation Program. The homeowner should request mediation within 15 days of receiving the Summons, but mediation may be available even after that date.
Is participation in mediation required?
Participation is voluntary for the homeowner/borrower and lender. Sometimes, lenders will choose not to participate in mediation. Some reasons lenders may not participate include situations where mortgages were previously refinanced or modified under programs such as HARP and HAMP or when prior modifications didn’t work out.
How can the Housing Counselor help?
In order to increase the chance of success at mediation, when a homeowner requests mediation, they are matched with a housing counselor in this area. That housing counselor will help the homeowner gather information needed to look for programs that may be available and to prepare a proposal for the meeting with the mediator and the lender. Once assigned a housing counselor, if a homeowner fails to take this step, they will lose their eligibility for mediation.
Housing Counselors are specially trained and certified to go over financial information with the homeowner, and to discuss programs that may be available to avoid foreclosure.
Does the foreclosure stop during the mediation process?
Even after applying for mediation, the homeowner is required to comply with all mandatory deadlines set by the court, including the time to answer the Complaint. Please read the Summons and Complaint carefully and make sure you understand your rights and the time period for filing an Answer or Responsive Pleading. If you do not file an Answer or Responsive Pleading, the court may grant judgment against you and you may lose your right to object to anything that you disagree with in the Complaint.
Does the homeowner need a lawyer to participate in the mediation program?
While everyone is always strongly encouraged to be represented by an attorney, homeowners are not required to be represented by an attorney. You may contact the statewide Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (800) 362-9082 or the local Legal Action of Wisconsin office at 404 N. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54901, phone (920) 233-6521, toll-free at (800) 236-1128, to obtain the names of attorneys who may be able to assist you.
Who must attend the mediation session?
The mediation session must be attended in person by all homeowners. A representative of the lender must also attend in person or by telephone. The servicer holding the loan will attend by telephone. Either party may have other support persons such as attorneys, loan officers and tax advisers, available by phone.