NOTICE: The FDP "First Call" Pilot Project is Operating Statewide
August 29, 2014 - On August 5 the Foreclosure Diversion Program (FDP) launched the “First Call” Pilot Project at Augusta District Court. With the launch of the new procedure in Augusta, the “First Call Day” is now operating in all of the FDP processing courts. The “pilot project” is now standard procedure statewide. This includes courts in Bangor, Rockland, Ellsworth, Portland, West Bath, Caribou, Springvale, Lewiston, Rumford, Bridgton and now Augusta. “First Call Day” simplifies and shortens the mediation process in foreclosure cases.
At “First Call Day,” homeowners are scheduled to come to court before mediation to attend an Informational Session. At the Informational Session the clerk provides homeowners with a one-page form to be completed and given to the mediator during mediation. A judge and a HUD-certified housing counselor explain the court mediation process, what to expect at mediation, and how to find help at no charge. The housing counselors who speak at the Informational Session are available to help homeowners individually.
Immediately following the Informational Session, cases proceed to mediation that same day. Multiple mediators are available and call cases one-by-one in anticipation that all cases will be mediated within a half-day. At mediation, homeowners share their goals, ask questions, and discuss their financial situations. Lenders provide information on the status of the loans. The parties discuss any documents to be submitted and whether any options to foreclosure may be available. The mediator facilitates the parties’ agreements on a specific plan going forward and writes a clear report of next steps and deadlines. This first mediation session is expected to take 30 to 45 minutes. Additional mediation may be scheduled if needed.
For more information, please visit the FDP First Call Day information page at http://www.courts.maine.gov/maine_courts/fdp/first_call/index.html. There, you will also find tips for homeowners and tips for lenders. If you have questions or need additional information please call Laura Pearlman, Manager, Foreclosure Diversion Program at (207) 822-0706 or email FDMP@courts.maine.gov.