On Tuesday, December 19, 2011, the Florida Supreme Court effectively terminated the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mandatory Mediation Program. Any pending mediations would not be affected and the Order specifies that Circuit Courts can still refer cases to mediation on a "case by case" basis but for all intents and purposes the Supreme Court's Order is the death knell for residential mortgage foreclosure mediations.
Why did it fail? Some say it was due to lenders having no economic incentive to settle and lack of participation in the program by borrowers. With many more foreclosure cases on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if any new ideas crop up this year and whether or not they will have more staying power than the mortgage mediation program did. We have already been told that non-judicial foreclosures are the answer to speeding up foreclosures as well as clarifying that banks are not liable for anything more than the lesser of 12 months or 1% of the original mortgage debt.
Will these promises also deliver less than they promise? Time will tell, however, it's much harder to reverse a state law than it is to terminate a court-ordered program.
For the full text of the Florida Supreme Court Order please click:
This work by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Generic License.