How Does Mediation Work in a Florida Foreclosure Case?

Video Script Below

How does a mediation work in a foreclosure case in the state of Florida? I’m Steve Kramer and I’m a Florida foreclosure attorney. Now, a foreclosure is a lawsuit like any other lawsuit. And generally when a lawsuit is filed, there’s a lot of paperwork filed, there may be discovery back and forth (meaning I’m asking for documents from the bank, they may be asking for documents from me). I may take some depositions and we may litigate this case like any other case that we handle. And ultimately, the way a foreclosure is decided is at a trial. Now, you know what a trial is. A trial is each side brings in their witnesses and they each testify and then the judge or jury makes a decision. Well, in a foreclosure a lot of times these cases are decided at what’s called a “motion for summary judgment.” And at that is basically a trial by paperwork. Each person – each party – puts their documentation and paperwork in front of the judge and if there’s no issues of fact, the judge makes a call. Now, the good thing that we have in foreclosures is that many circuits have ordered parties to go to mediation before they will allow (a) a summary judgment or (b) a trial. And for a while there was actually an order statewide that every single foreclosure had to go to meditation. Now whether your case is going to go to mediation depends on the circuit. But even if it’s not ordered, we can go ahead and file a motion for mediation. And the question is why do we want to go to mediation? Well, maybe you’re trying to get a modification. Maybe you’re trying to get a short sale. Maybe you’re trying to get out of your house without owing money or maybe you just want more time. But if any of these are what you want, then a mediation is a good option for you. Because it’s a chance for you to sit down in a room with your attorney, and with the bank and their attorney, to try to figure out a deal. And a mediator is there not to be the judge, not to be the arbitrator. The mediator doesn’t make a decision. Their job is to help you and the bank come to a deal – come to a resolution. And if it doesn’t work, then at least you got to give it a shot. The other thing that happens is if you’re ordered mediation before a summary judgment or a trial can take place, then there is one more hurdle. There is one more impediment to the bank getting a judgment. Because at the end of the day, we do not want them to win. We want to win. And we want to put any roadblocks in the way to help us win the case. And if we need to settle the case, if our job is to work with the bank and come to a negotiated resolution, then that’s a great opportunity. So why am I telling you this? Because I deal with mediations and foreclosures every day. We have seen them in thousands of cases and we know how they work. And if you have questions or if you want to be sure that you can go to mediation or if you want the most fruitful mediation, the most beneficial mediation and the best result in your foreclosure case, then call us. I’d love to talk with you about this situation. I’m Steve Kramer. Thanks for watching.

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