What you should know about Foreclosure Settlement Conferences!
Residential foreclosure defendants in New York are entitled to a preliminary foreclosure settlement conference that may enable a speedier and less expensive way of resolving their foreclosure issue than would otherwise be possible. The law requiring the conference – New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section 3408 – is beneficial for foreclosure defendants in a number of ways.
- First, foreclosure settlement conferences are typically less expensive than trial. Thus a foreclosure settlement conference requirement alone is beneficial. But section 3408 does not simply require a conference – it also requires that parties engage in good-faith negotiation for the purpose of “determining whether the parties can reach a mutually agreeable resolution to help the defendant avoid losing his or her home.” Further, the law requires that parties periodically update the court about the negotiation, allowing courts to evaluate whether negotiations are made in good faith. It is rare that legislation requires parties to make good-faith efforts to reach a resolution that is favorable to the defendant, and foreclosure defendants should take advantage of this requirement.
- Additionally, the law requires that the settlement conference occur within sixty days of the day proof of service is filed with the court, unless the parties agree to conference on another date. This allows foreclosure defendants to enter negotiations quickly, avoiding long periods of uncertainty that would certainly add stress to an already stressful situation.
- The law also requires parties to bring certain documents to the conference, gives the court an opportunity to require additional documents, and forbids either party from charging the other for legal expenses associated with the conference. Foreclosure defendants may be able to use the conference period to find out information about their case that may otherwise only be obtained through a potentially expensive discovery process.
Of course, foreclosure defendants may appear at the conference with counsel, which may help them take full advantage of the procedure. The Law Firm of Vaughn and Weber routinely represents clients through all phases of a foreclosure action. If you are facing a foreclosure, and would like to speak with an attorney about the settlement conference, or any other step in the foreclosure process, feel free to call (516) 858-2620 today.
*Contributions to the research and preparation of this blog were made by Jason Mays, J.D. (awaiting admission in NYS).
Am I Eligible For A Foreclosure Settlement Conference?
Generally, you are eligible for a Mandatory Foreclosure Settlement Conference if:
- The foreclosure action was commenced against you after February 13, 2010, OR
- Your case was commenced between September 1, 2008 and February 13, 2010, and involves a subprime, high-cost or nontraditional loan, and
- The property is 1-4 family home or condominium, and
- You occupy the property as your principal place of residence.
The court is required to schedule the mandatory foreclosure settlement conference within 60 days after you have been served with the foreclosure summons and complaint. Even where a settlement conference is not mandatory, you or your attorney may request one.
IMPORTANT: Please note that the scheduling of a foreclosure settlement conference does not relieve you of your obligation to respond to the plaintiff’s summons and complaint in a timely manner (see our earlier post “Foreclosure Summons and Complaint“).
As always, The Long Island Foreclosure Defense Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY 11501. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with a foreclosure defense lawyer.
I received a notice to attend a foreclosure settlement conference, what should I do?
If you are facing foreclosure and the court has scheduled a foreclosure settlement conference for you, you should attend or hire an attorney, probably for a lot less than you may think, to attend on your behalf or with you.
The foreclosure settlement conference provides the homeowner with an opportunity to negotiate a loan modification with their lender. If you are interested in saving your home from foreclosure, the foreclosure settlement conference may be your last chance to do so.
As always, The Foreclosure Defense Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to speak with a foreclosure defense attorney.