Are there alternatives to going to court?

If you live in Hillsborough County, when you are served with a Complaint in foreclosure, you should request mediation. Mediation is a less formal process with a trained mediator, who hears both sides and tries to reach an agreement between you and your lender. When you file your answer, you will also file a document titled "Request for Mediation" to tell the judge you would like to take part in mediation.

In Hillsborough County, it is required that the lender take part in a mediation program if you request. The program is the “Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation” program. During the program, you can try to save your home or find a solution better than foreclosure.

Mediation is not required in other counties, but you have the right to take part in “loss mitigation.” Loss mitigation is your chance to have the lender work with you to avoid foreclosure. The lender will usually give you paperwork to fill out. The lender will review the completed paperwork to see if they can offer you options to save your home. They might find other solutions that are a better option than foreclosure.

NOTE: You do not have to wait to request loss mitigation until your lender files foreclosure. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, it is best to request loss mitigation promptly. This could avoid the foreclosure process and provide a solution that works for you.