Thursday, June 28, 2012

RMFM Rebooted: Orange County Foreclosure Mediation Program

The so-called RMFM has just become the OCFM or Orange County Foreclosure Mediation Program, administered by the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA). With the originally mandated statewide program abruptly halted by Chief Justice Charles Canady of the Supreme Court of Florida, Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. took initiative and by Administrative Order 2012-06, created a new residential mortgage foreclosure program with the OCBA as Program Manager. The stakeholders, including lenders and consumer advocates, committed to new features of the program, such as that the overall cost has been reduced to $500 per case and homeowners pay $250 to participate. There was no fee previously and the hope is to attract serious borrowers who, by having skin in the game, are committed to the process and staying in their homes. Homeowners can first attend free seminars on the process and perceived benefits of participating. There will also be collaboration with the Legal Aid Society providing personal, specific education for borrowers and pre-screening for lenders. Mediators will be drawn exclusively from Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, but now only receive $150 per session-- half the previous rate. The program mediators will be assigned by computer and there is no minimum number guaranteed. The entire process has been expedited to operate within 100 days. For more information, see: and