Fourth Judicial Circuit Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program
Understanding the Process
If you have received a Summons and Notice of Foreclosure or would like information about the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program, this will answer many of your questions and provide you with important information.
This message will give you the following:
1. A plain language explanation of what a Summons and Complaint is and what it means.
2. You'll find out how the RMFM Program can help you.
3. You'll receive an outline of the program, its limitations, and the role of The Jacksonville Bar Association.
Summons and Complaint (Notice of Foreclosure):
Your receipt of the Summons and Complaint means that the lender has filed an action to foreclose. The court must order the foreclosure before any action can be taken.
The Summons states that you must file a written response to the Complaint within 20 calendar days from the date served. Although it is always advisable to consult an attorney in any legal matter, you can file your own response.
1. You must file or mail a written response to the Complaint with the Clerk of the Court in the County the Complaint was filed within 20 calendar days of being served the Summons & Complaint. Mailing your response may take several days, so allow extra time. You may file your response in person with the Clerk of the Circuit Court where the action was filed. (Court Clerk addresses are at the bottom of page.)
2. Your response to the Summons should include: Case information exactly as it appears on the Summons, the case number and the names of the parties, both Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s). After this information, write a brief summary of your situation and if you intend to participate in the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program.
3. You must also mail a certified copy of your response to the attorney whose name and contact information is listed at the end of the complaint.
FAILURE TO RESPOND TO THE COURT WITHIN 20 CALENDAR DAYS MAY JEOPARDIZE YOUR RIGHTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE RMFM PROGRAM, AS WELL AS OTHER LEGAL RIGHTS.
Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program (RMFMP)
The Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program was established by Administrative Order of the Florida Supreme Court. The program is designed to provide an opportunity for you and your lender to try and reach an agreement that will allow you to stay in your home. With the help of a neutral third party, called a mediator, you and the lender will try to find a way through your current situation.
The following requirements must be met in order to participate in the program.
a. The property must be your primary residence.
b. Your home must have a current homestead exemption.
c. The loan that you purchased the home with must be subject to the provisions of the Federal Truth in Lending Act.
THE PROGRAM IS FREE OF CHARGE. THERE ARE NO OUT OF POCKET COSTS IF YOU DECIDE TO PARTICIPATE.
How the RMFMP works.
Approximately 10 days after you file your response and your lender files the required forms and submits the necessary funds, you will receive a packet from The Jacksonville Bar Association Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program. The packet will contain a letter explaining the program, and two forms; one titled "Election to participate in the RMFMP", and another titled "Decline to Participate in RMFMP." There will also be a preaddressed Business Reply envelope for you to mail the form to us.
There are four steps to the RMFM Program and the process can take from 60 to 120 days to complete, during which your home may not be foreclosed upon by the lender.
1. File your response to the Summons and Complaint (Notice of Foreclosure).
2. If you would like to participate in the RMFM Program, sign and return the Election to Participate to The Jacksonville Bar Association in the postage paid envelope included in the packet.
3. If you decide to participate, your case will be assigned to one of two court approved credit counseling agencies. The agency will contact you to schedule an appointment to talk with you about your financial situation. This step may take 3-6 weeks to complete.
4. Once your credit counseling documents have been uploaded to our encrypted web enabled database, the plaintiff will be required to upload disclosures concerning your loan.
5. Your case will be scheduled for mediation after the plaintiff has uploaded the required disclosures. You will be notified as to when and where the mediation will take place.
If you decline to participate in the RMFMP, the Clerk of the Circuit Court will be notified, and YOUR CASE WILL proceed through the court process.
You can find more details about the actual mediation process at this link: FAQ
The RMFMP program is designed to assist you; however, there are limitations you must know.
1. Participation in the RMFM Program does NOT guarantee that your lender will not foreclose. The Program provides only an opportunity to meet and discuss your situation with the lender in a neutral setting that might result in a mutually agreeable alternative to foreclosure.
2. The Jacksonville Bar Association does not provide you with an attorney to represent you in this program. We cannot provide you with legal advice regarding the law, or comment on your particular circumstances. You should consult with an attorney on this or any legal matter. Your lender will usually be represented by a lawyer at the mediation.
You may wish to call the Lawyer Referral Service at (904) 399-5780, where you will be referred to an attorney who practices in this area. There is a $50 administrative fee that will cover up to thirty minutes with the attorney. If you would like to hire the attorney to represent you, then regular fees will apply.
Our goal is to ensure that you receive the proper information about the RMFM Program in a timely manner. We hope this has answered your immediate concerns, and we will be happy to speak with you should you have any other questions.
County Courthouse Clerk of the Courts:
Clay County Clerk of Courts
825 North Orange Ave.
P. O. Box 698
Green Cove Spgs, FL 32043
Duval County Clerk of Court
330 E. Bay St., Room 103
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Nassau County Clerk of Court
76327 Veteran's Way
Yulee, FL 32097
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