The Collins Center's foreclosure mediation program is spreading like wildfire across the state of Florida.[IMAGE]
The program was recently implemented by the 14th Judicial Circuit of Florida, which covers six counties, including Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington. This marks the fourth circuit in the Sunshine State to put the program into practice.
According to the ""Collins Center for Public Policy"":http://www.collinscenter.org/, a statewide nonprofit organization, its foreclosure mediation program provides an opportunity for homeowners and their lenders to resolve the foreclosure case out of court. In addition, the organization said the program aims to help homeowners stay in their home if at all possible.
Under the program, homeowners and lender representatives meet with a neutral mediator, all of which are Supreme Court certified and trained in mediation and foreclosure law. In addition, homeowners meet with an approved mortgage foreclosure counselor as they complete the financial documentation required for the mediation.
""Our foreclosure mediation program has helped thousands of homeowners and lenders in other circuits around the state,"" said Ned Pope, director of the Collins Center alternative dispute resolution program. ""Managed mediation brings both sides together in a confidential environment that can encourage a successful outcome for everyone involved. Not only is this program helping homeowners and their mortgage lenders, it is also freeing up overcrowded court dockets.""
In order to help resolve the avalanche of foreclosure filings, the Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases recommended in August 2009 that a managed mediation program be adopted in all circuits across the state. And the task force pointed to the Collins Center's program as a model.
Since the program began in March 2009, the Collins Center has managed approximately 5,900 scheduled mediations. Currently, the center is also managing mediation programs for foreclosures in the 1st, 11th, and 19th circuits of Florida.