In Lehigh and Northampton Counties, as well as several counties in Pennsylvania, the Court of Common Pleas has created a mandatory mediation program, also known as foreclosure diversion programs. This program was created in 2009 to help resolve the wave of foreclosures that has affected the area.
What occurs in Northampton and Lehigh County after a foreclosure action is filed against a borrower is that a court enters a Case Management Order stating that the Defendant is required to attend what is called a Conciliation Conference at the Court. It extremely important for the borrower to attend this conference and they would also be best served speaking to an attorney prior to this conference.
The purpose of this Conciliation Conference is to get the lender’s attorney to communicate with the borrower and see if any workout options are available such as a loan modification or short sale so the borrower can avoid going through foreclosure.
In some circumstances, the court will extend the automatic stay — the legal order that prevents the bank from selling the borrower’s home. If you have been served with a complaint, please contact us by calling (610) 417-6345 so we can advise you of your rights.
First, the borrower must understand that an answer must be filed to the Complaint within 20 days or the lender can obtain a default judgment which will expedite the foreclosure proceeding.
By filing an answer, you increase your chances of settling your matter with the bank and avoiding foreclosure by either obtaining a short sale, loan modification, or forbearance agreement where the lender agrees to stay the foreclosure while the borrower catches up on their payments.
If you have any questions about the foreclosure process, please call us at (610) 417-6345.