What is 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 can 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.
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.
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.
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 tenants of foreclosed rental or commercial properties.
Do Not Face Your Lender Alone
Free or reduced fee legal services are available to homeowners and renters. Low- and moderate-income households may be eligible for free legal representation from one of the following providers:
|Allegany Law Foundation
|Civil Justice, Inc.
|Statewide - reduced fee legal assistance for moderate-income households|
|Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County
|Maryland Legal Aid
|Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
(410) 547-6537 (9am-12pm, Monday - Thursday)
|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|
|Public Justice Center
|Statewide Legal assistance for RENTERS|
|St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
(410) 366-8550, ext. 249
|Central Maryland - Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard|
If you decide to seek assistance from other entities, be aware of organizations that require you to pay upfront fees to receive assistance. For information on how to avoid being scammed and what to do if you have concerns, visit our Avoid Fraud and Scams page.
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.
HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Maryland
Visit the People’s Law Library of Maryland for additional information about Foreclosure Mediation.