State Temporary Bans on Foreclosure; Conference and Mediation Programs
Several states and local court systems have created programs that offer settlement conferences and mediations for foreclosures. These programs are designed to encourage the servicer to agree to alternatives to foreclosure. How these programs work will vary, but they all give you the opportunity to discuss your situation with a live person as opposed to leaving messages in the servicer’s voicemail system. Often the programs refer you to housing counselors and other advocates who can help you through the process.
Carefully review any notices you receive about mediation programs. Sometimes a mediation session is scheduled automatically when a servicer starts a foreclosure. In other programs, you have to request mediation and you may have only a limited time to make the request.
The federal government as well as state and local governments have at various times authorized stays of foreclosures limited to the duration of a particular economic crisis or natural disaster. The COVID-19 emergency is an important example. Check for any current restrictions on foreclosures. State bans are only temporary, but they may give you an opportunity to get back on your feet. Temporary programs designed to help consumers facing these special hardships may be available.