On August 31, 2009, Superior Court President Judge James T. Vaughn, Jr. released Administrative Directive 2009-3 creating the Delaware Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program, which is designed to bring borrowers and lenders together to prevent foreclosure. The program is the product of an 8-month consensus-building effort by a steering committee consisting of housing advocates, lenders, brokers, attorneys, housing counselors, legal services attorneys and government officials.
The Delaware program requires a foreclosing attorney to send a notice of the mediation process to a borrower when the borrower is served with the Notice to Lienholders of the pending foreclosure. The borrower has 15 days to meet with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency to fill out a Universal Intake Form and submit a proposal to the mediation program and the lender’s attorney. The proposal to the mediation program is sent to Delaware Volunteer Legal Services (DVLS).
Once DVLS receives the proposal and intake form they will schedule the matter for mediation. Mediation conferences take place once a month in each of the county courthouses. The parties appear at the courthouse for the scheduled mediation day and attempt to informally work out an agreement to avoid foreclosure. If the parties cannot work out an agreement they meet with a pro bono attorney mediator who attempts to bring the parties to some type of consensus agreement. If an agreement is reached, it is filed with the Court. If no agreement is reached, the lender may proceed with foreclosure.
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