RCW 61.24.163 was enacted on April 14, 2011 as part of the Foreclosure Fairness Act of 2011. The law became effective on July 22, 2011.
Foreclosure Mediation – What is it?
Mediation is form of alternative dispute resolution (“adr”). Mediation is a process where two parties meet with a neutral third party and attempt to resolve a dispute by reaching an agreement. During the mediation the mediator will attempt to help the parties hear each other, to maximize any area of potential agreement, and attempt to find a way to keep areas of disagreement from interfering with the process of seeking a mutually agreeable outcome.
Foreclosure Mediation – Who can Participate?
Homeowners may be eligible for mediation if they received a Notice of Default from their servicer and lived in the home when the foreclosure process started. The referral to mediation must be submitted to Department of Commerce after a Notice of Default has been issued and no later than 20 days after the date the Notice of Trustee Sale has been recorded in the county where the property is located. Some lenders are exempt from mediation. Review the Eligibility Criteria for detailed information.
Foreclosure Mediation – How to Enter the Mediation Program?
Homeowners cannot enter the Mediation Program without a referral. The referral must be made by a housing counselor or an attorney. The counselor or attorney must a determination that the homeowner is eligible before referring the homeowner to the Department of Commerce for mediation. Eligible homeowners will be assigned a mediator (by Department of Commerce) to conduct the foreclosure mediation process established in statute. Although not required, homeowners may benefit from a counselor or attorney assisting/representing them during the mediation process and session(s). The lender is typically represented by at least one attorney
Foreclosure Mediation – What happens if my servicer and I don’t reach an agreement?
At the conclusion of the mediation, the mediator will send a written certification to the homeowner or homeowner’s attorney, servicer, trustee, and Department of Commerce. Once the mediator issues and sends the certification, the foreclosure mediation process is complete.