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THE COURTS

CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program; No. 12-1619 Civil Term

[42 Pa.B. 1662]
[Saturday, March 31, 2012]

Administrative Order

And Now, this 28th day of February, 2012, the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas having recognized the current mortgage foreclosure crisis hereby establishes a Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program:

 (a) In all residential mortgage foreclosure actions involving a residential property which serves as the primary residence of the defendant/borrower, the complaint shall include a Notice of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program in the format set forth in Form 1 and a Financial Worksheet in the format set forth in Form 2.

 (b) Following the service of the complaint, Notice of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program and Financial Worksheet, all proceedings shall be stayed for a period of sixty (60) days from the date of service of the complaint in order to afford the defendant/borrower an opportunity to qualify for participation in a court-supervised Conciliation Conference.

 (c) If the defendant/borrower in a residential mortgage foreclosure action has taken the affirmative steps identified in the Notice of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program to be eligible to participate in a court-supervised Conciliation Conference, the defendant/borrower shall file a Request for Conciliation Conference in the form as set forth in Form 3 within the sixty (60) day time limit set forth in the Notice. The Request for Conciliation Conference shall be served upon counsel for the plaintiff/lender. A copy of the Request for Conciliation Conference shall also be served upon the Court Administrator for assignment to a judge.

 (d) Upon receipt of the Request for Conciliation Conference, the court shall issue a case management order providing for the scheduling and conducting of a Conciliation Conference. See Form 4.

 (e) The defendant/borrower shall be entitled to participate in a court-supervised conciliation conference with the plaintiff/lender in all residential mortgage foreclosure actions in which the defendant/borrower has completed a Financial Worksheet in the format set forth in Form 2 in advance of the Conciliation Conference and has filed and served a Request for a Conciliation Conference.

 (f) To be eligible to participate in a Conciliation Conference an otherwise unrepresented defendant/borrower who has been served with a Notice of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program must contact MidPenn Legal Services at 717-243-9400 extension 2510 or 800-822-5288 extension 2510 for the appointment of a legal representative at no charge to the defendant/borrower, meet with the appointed legal representative, complete a Financial Worksheet, and file the Request for Conciliation Conference form within the time deadline set forth in the Notice.

 (g) If the defendant/borrower is represented by counsel in the mortgage foreclosure action, the defendant/borrower need not contact MidPenn Legal Services for the appointment of a legal representative but, instead, counsel for the defendant/borrower shall ensure completion of the prescribed Financial Worksheet and file the Request for Conciliation Conference form within the time deadline set forth in the Notice.

 (h) At least twenty-one (21) days prior to the date of the Conciliation Conference, the defendant/borrower must serve upon the plaintiff/lender and its counsel a copy of the Cumberland County Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program Financial Worksheet.

 (i) Conciliation conferences in Residential Mortgage Foreclosure actions will be conducted at such time and place as fixed in the case management order and will be conducted by a judge. The defendant/borrower and counsel for the parties must attend the Conciliation Conference in person and an authorized representative of the plaintiff/lender must either attend the Conciliation Conference in person or be available by telephone during the Conciliation Conference. The representative of the plaintiff/lender who participates in the Conciliation Conference must possess the actual authority to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. It is important, therefore, that counsel for the plaintiff/lender discuss resolution proposals with the authorized representative in advance of the Conciliation Conference. The court, in its discretion, may require the personal attendance of the authorized representative of the plaintiff/lender at the Conciliation Conference.

 (j) At the Conciliation Conference, the parties and their counsel shall be prepared to discuss and explore all available resolution options which include, but are not limited to: bringing the mortgage current through a reinstatement; paying off the mortgage; proposing a forbearance agreement or repayment plan to bring the account current over time; agreeing to vacate in the near future in exchange for not contesting the matter and a monetary payment; offering the lender a deed in lieu of foreclosure; entering into a loan modification or a reverse mortgage; paying the mortgage default over sixty (60) months; and the institution of bankruptcy proceedings.

 (k) If more than sixty (60) days has elapsed since the service of the Notice of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program and the defendant/borrower has not opted to participate in the Diversion Program by taking the affirmative steps required by the Notice or the defendant/borrower has failed to serve a completed Financial Worksheet as required, or the parties have participated in a court-supervised Conciliation Conference and have been unable to resolve the matter, on motion of the plaintiff, the temporary stay will be terminated.

 (l) The appearance by an attorney at the Conciliation Conference shall not be deemed to be an entry of appearance in the mortgage foreclosure action.

 (m) This order shall take effect April 1, 2012, or thirty (30) days from the date of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and remain in effect until June 30, 2014.

By the Court

KEVIN A. HESS, 
President Judge


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-578. Filed for public inspection March 30, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]



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