The attorney handling our foreclosure process has recommended trying foreclosure mediation with the bank, because they most likely don't want to own an empty house. Are there any tactics to take when entering mediation that we should know about?
Mediation is almost always more favorable than letting a property go to foreclosure. With mediation, you can explore a multitude of creative solutions which would not otherwise be available if you simply let the bank proceed with a trustee's sale (or if the bank sued in a judicial foreclosure).
Without knowing your specific situation, it is not possible to give you tips on tactics. However, I strongly encourage you to mediate.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
When you're going to foreclosure mediation, the goal is to avoid foreclosure by either modifying the loan, or exploring possible foreclosure alternatives, like short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
If you're represented by counsel your attorney should guide you through the mediation process. If you're looking for modification, make sure that the lender has all the information it needs to make a decision on your loan modification, before you get to mediation (there is nothing more frustrating than getting to mediation and finding out that the lender/servicer is missing a crucial piece of information on which to base its decision). For example, a crucial piece you do not want to forget is the most current pay stubs, (if you're self employed, profit and loss statements; if you draw social security income, the most recent award letter), bank statements, tax returns, statement of expenses (here in Florida there is a form for that).
Also, make sure your credit report is up to date. Having inaccurate information on your report may reduce your chances of getting modification.
Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created or is or is intended to be created by my answer. You should contact an attorney in your area to discuss your case.