What you need to know about the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program (RMFM program)

What you need to know about the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program (RMFM program)

The program is provided by the Jacksonville Bar Association, a voluntary local bar association that is committed to professionalism and service to the community.  This program requires the lender to communicate with you in a mandatory mediation in the hopes of a settlement.  However, the lender is not required to settle with you.  The lender is only required to send a representative to negotiate with you on behalf of the lender.  The representative they send will be an experienced attorney working for the lender.  DO NOT be misguided by the hopes of a positive outcome at your “FREE” mediation session with a court-approved mediator.  The mediator cannot provide you with legal advice.  The lender may still foreclose on your home if a settlement cannot be reached.  You will need to seek the advice of an experience foreclosure attorney that will negotiate on your behalf.  The lender has an attorney and so should you.

If you do not have an attorney and you have been served with a notice of foreclosure in Duval, Clay, St. Johns or surrounding counties call The Law Office of Garrett J. Strahl at 904-342-1050.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding this program

Q.   Is it really a “free” program?

A.   Yes.  You will receive a free credit counseling session with a non-attorney (the approved foreclosure counselor), who will gather all your documents for the mediation session and you will not have to pay for the mediation session (which in most cases the lender will offer to pay regardless of this program).

 Q.   Will the lender have an attorney present at the mediation?

A.   Yes.  The lender’s representative you will be negotiating with will be an experanced attorney that works for the lender.

Q.   Will the Approved Foreclosure Counselor be able to tell me my rights?

A.   NO.  A foreclosure counselor or credit counselor CANNOT provide legal advice.  This step is a necessary part of the process to provide the mediator with all the documents necessary to mediate your case.  You may also request documents from the lender at this time.  However, most people have no idea what to ask for. 

Q.   Does the program provide representation for me (The Homeowner)?

A.   NO.  The Free Modification program does not provide legal representation to protect your rights and interests.  To protect your legal rights in the foreclosure process please seek an experienced foreclosure attorney.  You should have an attorney present at the free loan modification mediation to negotiate on your behalf with the lender’s experienced attorney.

 Q.   Can the lender foreclose on my home regardless if I (The Homeowner) participate in this free program?

A.   Yes.  The lender may still foreclose on your home regardless of this program.  The free mediation program does not guarantee a positive outcome or settlement.  The only thing that is guaranteed is you will have the opportunity to negotiate with the bank’s representative (the bank’s attorney).  This program requires your lender to communicate with you where they may have previously refused.

 Q.   Can I (The Homeowner) take any steps to protect my rights?

A.   Yes.  You should consult an attorney regarding your rights.  You should not rely on a non-attorney to protect your legal rights and interests.  Your lender has legal representation and so should you.  The Law Office of Garrett J. Strahl is experienced in representing homeowners through the mediation process and will fight for your legal rights call 904-342-1050.

 Q.   Do I still need to respond to the summons if I want to participate in the program?

A.   Yes.  Regardless if you participate in this program, you MUST respond to the Complaint filed against you within 20 calendar days.  In fact, if you fail to respond you may waive your right to participate in the program and the lender may proceed with the foreclosure.

Q. Can I still participate in the program if I hire an attorney?

A. YES.  In fact, you should hire an attorney to guide you through this process.  The lender has experienced attorneys working hard on their side and so should you!

 If you have been served in Duval, Clay, St. Johns, or surrounding counties call 904-342-1050 for an experience foreclosure attorney to guide you through the RMFM program.