The Hawaii Supreme Court has issued an order modifying and extending the Third Circuit’s residential foreclosure mediation pilot project for another year. The project’s end date will be March 31, 2012. The goal of the project is to give Big Island homeowners who have been served with a foreclosure action the opportunity to participate in mediation with the lender and a trained mediator before the case is heard by a judge.
Third Circuit is implementing certain changes to enhance the project’s effectiveness for the second year. One of the changes makes filing and serving a Foreclosure Mediation Notice and Request Form – along with the complaint – mandatory for the lender’s attorney, or plaintiff. Participation in mediation for the eligible borrower, or defendant, however, is still optional. A plaintiff who files a request for a default judgment because the defendant did not show up on the court date must also file a Certificate of Service verifying that the Foreclosure Mediation Notice and Request Form were served upon the defendant. In deciding whether the project should be extended and how it may be modified, the Supreme Court considered information from several sources, including the Foreclosure Mediation Pilot Project Report and feedback from the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission. Both documents are available on the Hawaii State Judiciary’s website.
For more information about the Third Circuit’s residential foreclosure mediation pilot project, call 808-961-7435.