Foreclosure Settlement Conferences

On May 7, 2012, in Foreclosure, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Foreclosure Settlement Conferences

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.

Foreclosure Attorneys in Nassau County

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, Weber & Prakope, PLLC 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 a 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).

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