Attorneys are encouraged to review the most current version of the Connecticut General Statutes sections 49-31k through 49-31r, the Uniform Foreclosure Mediation Standing Orders, and the Mortgage Foreclosure Standing Order Federal Loss Mitigation Programs (JD-CV-117). The following is not intended as a substitute for such review.
1. What is the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
The Chief Court Administrator established the Foreclosure Mediation Program in 2008 to assist lenders and homeowners to achieve a mutually agreeable resolution of a mortgage foreclosure action through the mediation process.
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 available to help homeowners. Most of the mediators are attorneys with many years of mediation experience. Mediators do not represent either party and cannot give legal advice.
3. What foreclosure cases qualify for the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
The Foreclosure Mediation Program is available in certain residential mortgage foreclosure actions that have a return date on or after July 1, 2008. The action must be filed against homeowners of one-to-four family, owner-occupied residential property located in the state of Connecticut. The property must be the primary residence of the homeowner, who is also the borrower on the note that is secured by a mortgage on the property being foreclosed. If a homeowner is not a borrower but meets all other requirements for eligibility, he or she may be able to participate in the program if he or she is a permitted successor-in-interest. A permitted successor-in-interest is (1) a defendant in the foreclosure action with a return date on or after October I , 2015, and (2) is either (a) the spouse of a deceased borrower, and who acquired sole title to the property because it was transferred to him or her from the deceased spouse's estate or because title to the property was held with the deceased spouse in joint tenancy or tenancy by the entireties; or (b) the spouse or former spouse of a borrower, (i) who became an owner of the property because it was transferred to him or her as a result of a decree of divorce or legal separation, or a settlement agreement that was apart of either decree and (ii) where the spouse or former spouse and all borrowers have consented to the release of nonpublic personal financial information by the plaintiff/mortgagee, if any, that is in its possession.
For cases with a return date on or after October 1, 2011, certain religious organizations that own real property that is the subject of a mortgage foreclosure action may also be eligible to participate. The mortgagor may request foreclosure mediation by submitting a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate (JD-CV-108) and filing an Appearance (JD-CL-12) not more than 15 days after the return date.
Otherwise ineligible cases may be referred to the Foreclosure Mediation Program in the judge’s discretion for good cause.
4. Are cases which involve actions to foreclose a tax lien or condominium lien eligible for the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
No. Only mortgage foreclosure actions meeting the eligibility requirements qualify to participate in the program.
5. Is participation in the Foreclosure Mediation Program mandatory?
Participation is mandatory for the lender if the homeowner, individually or through counsel, has filed an Appearance (JD-CL-12) and Foreclosure Mediation Certificate (JD-CV-108), and is determined to be eligible for the Foreclosure Mediation Program.
6. How does a homeowner in a mortgage foreclosure action become aware of the Foreclosure Mediation Program?
The mortgagee must give notice to the mortgagor of the Foreclosure Mediation Program. For cases with a return date on or after October 1, 2013, the mortgagee must attach the following forms to the front of the foreclosure writ, summons and complaint that are served on the mortgagor: JD-CV-103 (“You Are Being Sued”); Foreclosure Mediation Notice to Homeowner (JD-CV-127); Foreclosure Mediation Certificate (JD-CV-108); Appearance (JD-CL-12); Mediation Information Form (JD-CV-135); and Notice of Community-Based Resources (JD-CV-126). These forms are available at each Judicial District Clerk’s office, at Court Service Centers, or from our Judicial Forms website.
7. Does participation in the Foreclosure Mediation Program stay the foreclosure action?
For cases assigned to the Foreclosure Mediation Program, there is a litigation hold for a period of up to 8 months from the case’s return date. During this period, neither the mortgagee nor the mortgagor may make any motion, request or demand of the other except for those relating to the Foreclosure Mediation Program, except that the mortgagor is permitted to file an answer, special defenses and counterclaims. If the mortgagor elects to file any other motion, request or demand with respect to the mortgagee (other than a motion to dismiss contesting the Court’s jurisdiction), the 8 month stay no longer is in effect. However, no judgment of strict foreclosure or foreclosure by sale may enter against the mortgagor unless the mediation period has expired or terminated; and if less than 8 months have elapsed from the return date, it has been 15 days from the date of such termination and there is no pending motion or request to extend the mediation period.
8. Does the Court issue a Certificate of Completion of Mediation if a homeowner is approved for home retention assistance?
No. At the conclusion of mediation, the mediator files a Final Report indicating whether the parties reached a settlement. The court sends a notice to all parties of record advising them that the Final Report has been filed. Copies of the Final Report are available from the clerk’s office for a fee, or can be printed without charge from a computer located in any Judicial Branch Court Service Center. For cases with return dates on or after January 1, 2014, the Final Report can be viewed on the internet and printed from any computer. To do this, go to http://www.jud.ct.gov and click on the “case look up” link. You can look up the case in the Civil/Family data base by docket number or by the homeowner’s last name or by the property address.
How to Request Mediation
9. How do I request mediation on behalf of my client?
You must file an Appearance (JD-CL-12) and a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate (JD-CV-108) within 15 days of the case’s return date. The Court will review the Foreclosure Mediation Certificate and, if eligible, the case will be referred to the Foreclosure Mediation Program.
10. I was retained to represent the homeowner more than 15 days after the return date. Can I still participate in mediation?
Yes, but first you must get the Court’s permission by filing an Appearance (JD-CL-12), a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate (JD-CV-108), and a Motion for Permission to File a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate Later Than 15 Days After the Return Date (JD-CV-96 - Part I).
11. My client participated in mediation previously, but mediation was terminated. Can I request mediation again?
Yes. You may file a Foreclosure Mediation Petition for Reinclusion (JD-CV-136) for this purpose. If a judge grants the petition, the case will be referred to the Foreclosure Mediation Program.