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An Overview for Homeowners

Related Information for Attorneys



Pursuant to Chapter 507 of the Laws of 2009, homeowners in danger of foreclosure are entitled to participate in court settlement conferences with their lenders, if the following criteria are met:

• The case involves residential property; and
• The property is a 1-to-4 family owner occupied dwelling or condominium


Settlement Conferences

If you meet the above criteria, a Foreclosure Settlement Conference is mandatory provided the case was commenced on or after February 13, 2010. The court will schedule the conference within 60 days after you have been served with court papers.

If your case was commenced before February 13, 2010, a settlement conference is not mandatory, but you may request a conference by contacting the Clerk’s office of the court where your case is pending. Please note, however, that if your case involves a subprime, high-cost or nontraditional loan and was commenced between September 1, 2008 and February 13, 2010, a settlement conference is mandatory and you should contact the Clerk’s office of the court where your case is pending to confirm the date of the conference.

Please be aware that the court conference and/or the scheduling of a conference does not relieve you of your obligation to respond to the plaintiff’s papers in a timely manner. If you come to the conference without an attorney, you may be entitled to a court-appointed lawyer.

At the conference, the court will:
• discuss the rights and obligations of the parties
• determine whether the parties can reach a resolution to avoid foreclosure
• evaluate workout/settlement options such as payment schedules or loan modifications
• design a plan to streamline subsequent court proceedings if a settlement cannot be reached


Homeowner Resources

There are many free or low-cost services available for homeowners in distress. Meeting with a lawyer or financial/housing counseling service will help you:

• better understand your rights and the legal process
• learn what options may be available to save your home
• decide what the best course of action is for you

For comprehensive resources on how to protect your home and avoid foreclosure, as well as a list of service providers in your area, please visit:
National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC)
Foreclosure Information & Resources