It’s a case of: The Three Stooges and Mediation.
Under a state Supreme Court order issued 18 months ago, banks have been paying third-party mediators to perform outreach and mediation in an effort to keep Floridians in their homes. But in spite of spending at least $750 per case, the lenders rarely get homeowners into mediation.
According to defense attorneys, lenders appear unprepared to mediation, only prolonging a foreclosure case. It took homeowner Juan Picasso, who went into default after his son was diagnosed with a rare cancer, 26 months to get a modification on his mortgage. Deciding to do the application for modification himself, Picasso’s application for modification was denied three times and it wasn’t until he sought foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim’s help, that the case was settled with the bank.
Picasso described a mediation session that could have been in a Three Stooges short film.
Oppenheim, a foreclosure defense attorney in Weston, produced the letters as proof and noted the bank kept losing its copies of Picasso’s financial information and the bank’s responses.
“They kept saying all kinds of different things. They force-placed insurance on the property. They said Mr. Picasso’s insurance ran out so they put a ridiculous insurance policy on the property, which quadrupled the cost of insurance. He was in default because they were not keeping track of the insurance they put on his home.”