Why You Must Know About the Status Conference if Facing Foreclosure

What is a Status Conference?

Many counties across the country are scheduling what is known as a status conference to help some homeowners facing foreclosure.  The status conference is like a timeout in sports.  It involves the judge who presides over the lender’s foreclosure lawsuit against the borrower.

What is the purpose of a Status Conference?

A brief meeting is scheduled between the borrower and the mortgage lender’s attorney in the judge’s chambers.  The judge wants to see if the homeowner is working toward a loan modification, short sale, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or other solution to prevent the foreclosure.  The judge is also evaluating the borrower to see if they are a deadbeat who probably deserves to lose their house.  The judge also wants to see if the mortgage lender’s attorney understands the case and is willing to entertain the borrower’s proposed solution.

What happens if the borrower doesn’t show up?

If the borrower or the lawyer for the bank fails to show up to the status conference, that may annoy the judge.  There are instances where the attorney does not show up, and the judge grants an extension in the foreclosure process for the homeowner.  If the borrower does not show up, the judge will likely allow the foreclosure suit to continue unabated.

It is strongly suggested that the homeowner show up for the status conference if they wish to conduct a short sale, loan modification, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.  If the borrower does not attend, it is highly likely that the judge will allow the foreclosure to move forward at full speed.  The judge has the power to delay the foreclosure action, and the judge wants to help homeowners who are trying to help themselves.  Also, there are many instances where the bank’s attorney does not attend, so their failure to show up can shift the matter in favor of the homeowner.

What if the borrower is attempting a short sale?

If a homeowner is attempting a short sale, they should print out the listing of the house and bring a copy of the Agreement of Sale if the property is under contract.  They should also bring their most recent mortgage statement or a letter from the lender about the foreclosure.  The homeowner is welcome to bring their attorney if they have one, but a lawyer is not necessary.  A status conference typically only lasts a few minutes.  If the borrower shows up prepared, they may find that the judge encourages the bank’s lawyer to work toward a solution that does not end in foreclosure.

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