Homeowners in Williamsport and Lycoming County who are struggling with and missing their monthly mortgage payments now have more options. The local court system, North Penn Legal Services, the county Law Association, and also representatives from STEP Housing Counseling Services have created foreclosure mediation and diversionary conferences. The goal of these programs are to help people who are facing a foreclosure.
The new mortgage foreclosure diversionary and mediation conferences that are now being offered through the court system will help delay, and ideally stop foreclosures and provide alternatives for those facing the loss of their home.
This new program will give borrowers the opportunity to obtain free counseling, mediation and also free legal representation at the conference. The mediation sessions will be the result of a new pro-bono program that was created by Lycoming county Law Association working with the North Penn Legal Services.
If a bank of lender files a foreclosure on a privately owned home in the county, the homeowner will be able to request the foreclosure mediation session. Those borrowers who are in a default situation will be given an opportunity to request a court conference, with representation, shortly after the complaint is filed by their lender.
As thousands of families know, missing a scheduled mortgage payment, fallen behind and struggling is stressful and difficult. Then, receiving the foreclosure notice from your lender is enough of a gut-wrenching proposition to cause even more stress and hardship for anyone. What increases the stress level even more is the lack of communication, as most banks, lenders and attorneys representing these corporations are located out of state, and not easy to communicate with.
Both prior to and during the session, housing counselor from STEP will be available to review the borrowers financial situation, and they will be able to provide details on available alternative mortgage assistance programs.
During the diversionary conference, which is equivalent to a mediation session, the representative from the mortgage company is required by the court system to be available, either on site or on the phone, to discuss alternatives to foreclosure for the applicant, and work through mortgage solutions.
Local attorneys from North Penn Legal Services strongly believe that the mortgage diversionary conference may level the playing field between the homeowner and the lender, and the mediation session will give the borrower time and alternatives to losing their home. Learn more on foreclosure mediation.
The goal for the conference is to provide the homeowner clearly explained alternatives to foreclosure (such as a loan modification or forbearance) and provide details on such options as the recently created federal programs that might offer the family an alternative to losing a home.
During the court sessions, attorneys from the county Bar Association will go before the judge who will review the case, and then prepare an appropriate order based on whether an agreement that saves the home from foreclosure is reached at the time of the diversionary conference.
In most cases, attorneys, mediators and representatives from the bank will take part in the foreclosure mediation session and they will seek a mutually acceptable agreement.
If you receive a foreclosure notice from your bank or lender, ask the Lycoming County court system about the foreclosure mediation or mortgage diversionary program.
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