The Collins Center’s successful mortgage mediation program is expanding to include pre-file foreclosure cases. The new pre-file program is available to certain homeowners with delinquent and defaulted mortgages that are approaching the foreclosure filing stage.

“This pre-file program is a game changer,” said Ned Pope, director of the program. “We’re bringing together homeowners and mortgage lenders before a foreclosure filing, saving homeowners, lenders, and our overburdened state courts time and money.”

Fannie Mae has mandated that its servicers participate in pre-file mediation on its Florida loans that are eligible for the program. As a result of various court administrative orders, a loan is eligible for the Collins Center’s Fannie Mae pre-file mediation program if the property is homesteaded and located in one of the judicial circuits in which the Collins Center also performs post-file mediations.

How Pre-File Mediation Works:

The Pre-Filing Mortgage Mediation program will be initiated by the lender upon the 65th day of delinquency, at which point the lender will refer the loan to the Collins Center for a determination of the loan’s eligibility for the pre-file program. If eligible, the Collins Center arranges financial counseling for the homeowner and schedules a mediation appointment with the homeowner and the lender’s representative. The mediation sessions are facilitated by civil court certified mediators.

About the Collins Center’s Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program:

The Collins Center for Public Policy is a statewide nonprofit organization. It also manages foreclosure mediation programs in the 1st, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, and 19th judicial circuits. Since the Center’s foreclosure mediation program began in March 2009, the Center has managed more than 11,000 mediations. The post-file mediation program will continue in concert with the new pre-file program, operating in the same judicial circuits, with no up-front costs to borrowers or to Florida taxpayers.

“The foreclosure crisis hit our state like a ton of bricks,” said Rod Petrey, President of the Collins Center. “Through this innovative program we will reduce the amount of foreclosure filings in our state and give more Floridians an opportunity to try to stay in their home.”

For more information, visit www.CollinsCenter.org