How to Request Mediation
The Mediation Process
1. What is the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
The Foreclosure Mediation Program was created in 2008 in response to the record number of foreclosure cases filed in our courts. In foreclosure mediation, a neutral third party (mediator) helps the homeowner and bank try to reach a fair, voluntary, and negotiated agreement. During mediation, the homeowner will meet with a mediator and a representative of the bank to try to reach an agreement.
2. Who are the mediators?
Foreclosure mediation specialists are Judicial Branch employees who are trained in mediation and foreclosure law. They have knowledge of different community-based resources and mortgage assistance programs that may be able to help homeowners. Most of the mediators are lawyers with many years of mediation experience. Mediators do not represent either party and cannot give legal advice.
3. How do I know if I am eligible for foreclosure mediation?
You are eligible if (a) you are the borrower (the person who signed the note secured by a mortgage on the property), (b) you are an owner-occupant of the property, (c) the property is your primary residence, (d) the property is a 1, 2, 3 or 4 family residence in Connecticut, and (e) your case is a mortgage foreclosure with a return date on or after July 1, 2008. If you are not a borrower, but you meet all other requirements for eligibility, you may be able to participate in the program if you are a permitted successor-in-interest. You are a permitted successor-in-interest if (1) you are a defendant in the foreclosure action, (2) the foreclosure action has a return date on or after October 1,2015, and (3) you are either (a) the spouse of a deceased borrower, and you became the only owner of the property because it was transferred to you from your spouse's estate or because of the way you held title to the property with your deceased spouse; or (b) the spouse or former spouse of a borrower, and (i) you became an owner of the property because it was transferred to you as a result of a decree of divorce or legal separation, or a settlement agreement that was a part of either decree and (ii) you and all borrowers have consented to the release of nonpublic personal financial information by the plaintiff/mortgagee, if any, that is in its possession.
Certain religious organizations may also be eligible for the program.
Homeowners who do not meet these requirements could be referred to the Foreclosure Mediation Program by a judge.
4. Can I participate in the Foreclosure Mediation Program if a foreclosure case has not been filed?
No. There must be a mortgage foreclosure case filed in order to participate in the Foreclosure Mediation Program. However, until that time, help may be available from the agencies and programs listed on the court Notice of Community-Based Resources. Find information and schedules for Judicial Branch’s Foreclosure Volunteer Attorney Program here.
5. If my case involves the foreclosure of a tax lien or condominium lien, can I participate in the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
No. Cases filed to foreclose a condominium or tax lien are not eligible for the program.
6. Do I need a lawyer to take part in the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
You do not need a lawyer. Both self-represented parties and parties represented by a lawyer are able to participate in the Foreclosure Mediation Program.
7. Is there an application fee?
No, there is no application fee for the Foreclosure Mediation Program.
8. Am I required to participate in the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
No. A homeowner does not have to participate in mediation. However, mediation is mandatory for the bank if a homeowner files a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate (JD-CV-108) asking to participate, and is eligible.
9. Do I need to come to court on the return date?
No, you do not need to come to court on your case’s return date. The return date is a date the court sets to keep track of deadlines for other activity in a case. For more information on common legal words, visit our Common Legal Words page.
10. How can I find out what is happening in my case?
Once you file an Appearance (JD-CL-12) in your case, you will be mailed or emailed a copy of any document filed by a party in the case. You will also receive notices from the Court. You may sign up for email updates here.
In addition, you may look up your case by your last name or your case’s docket number on the Judicial Branch’s Civil / Family Case Look-up website. For cases with return dates on or after January 1, 2014, you may also look up your case by the address of the house.
How to Request Mediation
11. How do I apply for the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
To ask for mediation, you must file an Appearance (JD-CL-12) and a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate (JD-CV-108) within fifteen (15) days of the return date listed on the summons. You will receive these court forms when you are served with the foreclosure paperwork. They also are available online at the Judicial Forms website or at any Superior Court clerk’s office or Court Service Center.
12. If I did not file the Foreclosure Mediation Certificate within 15 days of my case’s return date, can I still participate?
Yes, but you must get the court’s permission first. You must file a Motion for Permission to File a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate Later than 15 Days After Return Date (JD-CV 96, Part I), a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate (JD-CV-108), and an Appearance (JD-CL-12). If a judge grants your motion, you will be able to take part in the Foreclosure Mediation Program.
13. If I participated in mediation before, but mediation was terminated, can I ask to come back into mediation?
Yes. You can file a Foreclosure Mediation Petition for Reinclusion (JD-CV-136). If the judge grants your petition, you will be able to take part in the Foreclosure Mediation Program again.
The Mediation Process
Changes in the law in 2013 for the Foreclosure Mediation Program created a new premediation process for cases with return dates on or after October 1, 2013.
14. After I am referred to the Foreclosure Mediation Program, when will I meet with a mediator?
First, your bank must send you and the mediator a package of financial forms and documentation within 35 days of the return date on your summons. When you receive the package, you should carefully fill out the forms and gather the documentation that your bank is requesting. Bring this information to your premediation meeting with the mediator, which will be held about 2 weeks later. You will receive a notice from the court of the date and time of the meeting.
15. What is premediation?
Premediation is where you meet with a mediator that has been assigned to your case. The mediator may want to schedule more than one meeting. A representative of the bank is not present at premediation meetings.
The mediator will listen to any background information you can give, including what happened that made you unable to pay the mortgage, your efforts to work with your bank, and whether or not you want to try to keep your home.
The mediator will also look at your completed financial forms and documentation and may ask you make corrections to the forms or provide more information. The mediator will talk about options that might be available through your bank, and may refer you to state and local agencies for additional help.
When your forms and documentation are done, the mediator will help you deliver them to your bank or its lawyer, and will file a premediation report that says whether mediation with your bank will be scheduled.
16. Do I have to participate in premediation?
Yes, if your case’s return date is on or after October 1, 2013, you asked for mediation, and were eligible, you must participate in premediation.
17. How long does premediation last?
Premediation usually ends 84 days after the return date listed on your summons, but it may end sooner if your paperwork is done before that deadline. In some cases, a judge may enter an order that extends the premediation period.
18. What if, after premediation, my mediator does not schedule mediation with my bank?
If you wish to continue with the Foreclosure Mediation Program, you may file a Foreclosure Mediation Petition for Reinclusion (JD-CV 136) explaining your reasons why. For example you may have had a change in your financial situation or you may think that the mediator made a mistake or misunderstood the facts.
19. If mediation with my bank is scheduled, who must attend the mediation sessions?
All borrowers must attend the first mediation session. A borrower is a person who signed the note for the mortgage on the property.
If a borrower is represented by a lawyer, the lawyer and all borrowers must attend the first mediation session. After that, the borrower’s lawyer may appear without the borrower if the borrower is available to participate by speakerphone.
If a borrower is not represented by a lawyer, after the first mediation session, only one borrower must attend, as long as the other borrower is available to participate by speakerphone.
The bank’s lawyer will be present at each mediation session. A representative from the bank must participate in the mediation session by speakerphone if that representative is not physically present.
In some cases, the mediator may allow a party who has a disability or significant hardship to participate in the mediation by telephone.
A borrower’s spouse who lives in the property, but did not sign the note for the mortgage, may come to the mediation sessions. But, before the spouse can be in the mediation sessions, the other borrowers who are there must agree in writing to the spouse being present, or they must agree to the disclosure of personal information to the spouse that is not publically available.
20. Where are the mediation sessions held?
Premediation meetings and mediation sessions are usually held at the Judicial District courthouse where the foreclosure case was filed. You should check the court notice you receive, which will tell you when and where the meeting or session is scheduled.
21. What do I need to bring to the mediation sessions?
You should bring the forms and documentation that you completed in premediation and that were delivered to your bank. You may also wish to bring any updated financial information, including paystubs and bank statements, and any other information suggested by the mediator.
22. Is mediation confidential?
No, mediations are not confidential. By law, the mediator must file a report at the end of premediation, and after each mediation session that is held. These reports become part of the public court file. However, your personal financial information is not part of the public court file, and cannot be given to anyone without your permission.
23. What if I disagree with something in the Mediator’s Report or I want to add something that wasn’t in the report?
You may file a Supplemental Information by Party form (JD-CV-133) if you want to add something or if you disagree with information in the report. You must file this form no later than five business days after receiving the Mediator’s Report.
24. How long does mediation last?
The mediation period ends on the earlier of 7 months from your case’s return date or 3 mediation sessions. However you may ask the Court to extend the mediation period by filing a Motion for Modification of the Mediation Period (JD-CV-96, Part II).
25. What issues are talked about in mediation?
In mediation, you talk about all issues of the foreclosure including finding ways to keep your home (reinstatements, repayment plans, loan modifications) as well as graceful exits from your home (sales, short sales, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure) and assignment of law days and sale dates.
26. Does this mean I won’t lose my house due to foreclosure?
Participation in the Foreclosure Mediation Program does not mean that you will be able to stay in your house. The Mediation Program slows the foreclosure down so you can work with the bank and the court to see if you can find a way to keep your house. It does not stop the foreclosure unless you reach a settlement. You must respond to the foreclosure case after the mediation ends, and you may still lose your house to foreclosure.
27. What rules apply to the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
The Foreclosure Mediation Program is governed by section 49-31k through 49-31r of the Connecticut General Statutes. Uniform Foreclosure Mediation Standing Orders also apply.
28. Who should I contact if I have more questions about the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
If you have questions about the Foreclosure Mediation Program, please contact Nancy McGann at 860-263-2734 ext. 3067, or email her at Nancy.McGann@jud.ct.gov.