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Selecting Mediators in Foreclosure Cases -- New Information

The Court Administrator’s Office, along with Judge Teachout in her capacity as Chair of the Civil Division Oversight Committee, have asked that this additional  information be sent out regarding the new method for selecting mediators in foreclosure cases filed after December 1, 2013.  VRCP 80.1(b)(3) was revised to reflect the change in the Notice to Homeowner form. An inconsistency between the rule and the new statutory changes was recently discovered, and the Civil Rules Committee will be addressing the inconsistency shortly. In the meantime, we are reminding court staff and the bar that for new foreclosure cases filed after December 1, 2013, plaintiffs should file with the foreclosure summons and complaint either the Notice to Homeowner if the case is eligible for foreclosure mediation, or should file the Certificate of Exemption if the case is not eligible for foreclosure mediation. If a Certificate of Exemption is filed, the court will provide appropriate review. If a Notice to Homeowner is filed, the defendant may thereafter file a Request for Mediation.

Also, for ease of processing and to avoid confusion, the new foreclosure mediation selection process involving the Vermont Bar Association can be followed for any Requests for Mediation filed going forward, irrespective of whether the original case was filed before or after December 1, 2013.  An updated list of approved mediators can be found on the VBA website at www.vtbar.org, by clicking “For the Public” and the “Foreclosure Mediation Resources” tab. Please do not hesitate to reply e-mail (not reply all) if there are any questions about this e-mail, or e-mail the Vermont Bar Association at foreclosuremediator@vtbar.org if there are questions regarding its role in the new mediator selection process. Thanks very much!