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.
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 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.
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.
The Office of Administrative Hearings 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.
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development supports a network of nonprofit legal services providers that provide free or reduced fee foreclosure prevention legal services. Don’t face your lender alone! Low and Moderate Income Households may be eligible for free legal representation from:
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 department-supported housing counseling agencies.
If you have any additional questions, read our Frequently Asked Questions.