When the housing market crashed in 2008, it became obvious to the New York legislature and foreclosure lawyers in New York that there was a need for new and efficient ways to finalize a foreclosure in the state. The outcome was greater and evolved use of New York foreclosure settlement conferences, a mediation proceeding that allows banks and debtors to meet outside the courtroom.
A New York foreclosure settlement conference can benefit both the borrower and the bank, provided the parties attend the settlement conference with the right intentions and mindset. Hiring a foreclosure lawyer in New York will prepare you to attend your own foreclosure settlement conference, and here are four things you can expect from the process.
#1: A New York Foreclosure Settlement Conference Is Face-to-Face
There are now several states that either require or suggest a settlement conference to delay or stop a foreclosure on real property. Each of these states has a different set of rules and recommendations for this settlement conference, and in the State of New York, a foreclosure settlement conference is conducted in-person.
One requirement of a New York foreclosure settlement conference is that it is held face-to-face. A representative from the bank, along with the bank’s legal counsel, will meet with you and your New York foreclosure lawyer. Typically, this meeting takes place in a courthouse or other government building, but it can also occur in a mutually agreed location, such as a bank branch or your lawyer’s New York office.
#2: A Representative From the Court Will Attend the Conference
While a New York foreclosure settlement conference is an opportunity for you and the bank to meet outside the courtroom, a New York foreclosure is still overseen by the court. For this reason, a representative from the court hearing your case will attend the settlement conference.
Your foreclosure lawyer and counsel for the bank will arrange for a judge, court referee, or court attorney to attend the settlement conference. The role of this court representative is moderating the negotiations and discussion between the parties and taking note of any stipulated agreement.
#3: There Are Several Outcomes of a Settlement Conference
A New York foreclosure settlement conference is designed for discussion and negotiation. Most parties arrive at the settlement conference with a desired outcome, but willing to consider other options. You will likely strategize an ideal outcome from the settlement conference with your foreclosure lawyer in New York beforehand, but it is important to understand that there are several ways to save your home from foreclosure.
You could leave a settlement conference with agreement on a loan modification. Under this contractual agreement, the bank agrees to modify the terms of your loan, likely delaying or renegotiating the terms of repayment, in exchange for higher interest or other concessions. Other potential outcomes include a forbearance agreement, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
#4: Not Every Settlement Conference Ends in Agreement
Ultimately, a New York foreclosure settlement conference is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Similar to mediation or a non-binding arbitration, the parties come to the table hoping to compromise, but knowing that may not be possible. Some New York foreclosure cases aren’t finalized in a settlement conference and return to judicial proceedings.
You should approach your New York foreclosure settlement conference with realistic expectations of the outcome. A foreclosure lawyer in New York can help set those expectations by communicating with the bank prior to a settlement conference, reviewing the terms of your residential mortgage, and looking at the bank’s history of settling and New York foreclosure. Based on these pieces of information, and other specifics of your New York foreclosure case, the likelihood of compromise can be assessed.
There are certain factors impacting a potential settlement that are beyond your control. Before you even come to the settlement conference table, the court must determine that the parties are capable of reaching a compromise. The court will look at all aspects of your mortgage, missed payments, and potential for repayment before evaluating the potential for a settlement.
As well, the court must approve any settlement between banker and borrower that is reached during a New York foreclosure settlement agreement.
Hire a New York Foreclosure Lawyer
If you are ready to learn more about settlement conferences, it is time to speak with an experienced foreclosure lawyer at Simon Haysom, LLC. You can reach our Goshen, New York office by calling (845) 294-3596.
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