Law Offices of David P. Leibowitz LLC
Lakelaw is a registered assumed name for Law Offices of David P. Leibowitz LLC
The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin created the MMM (mortgage modification mediation) program about a year and a half ago to help make modifications in Chapter 13s easier. So far, it has had quite a few success stories, and the next step is making sure the program stays strong and allows mediation options for as many homeowners and servicers as possible.
Starting December 1, the fees for the program are increasing to allow mediators more recognition for their hard work. The fees for homeowners will now be $200 to the mediator and $25 to the portal used for document submission. Also, the portal is going to remain a preference, but servicers who don’t use the portal will see language allowing them, in some cases, to continue the mediation program while taking documents by e-mail or other means through their attorneys. The portal is effective and worth the extra cost, but some servicers still struggle to get approval to use it.
As has been our practice for quite some time, the law firm representing the Chapter 13 debtors will pay the fees and the work by the mediator will start only when the fees are in. We ask for the mediation fees from our clients in advance to start the process.
The MMM program can be a huge step to getting through the impossible hurdles some servicers have to get mortgages modified in a reasonable fashion. We hope to keep promoting and improvingthe program as time continues.
In a Chapter 13, most of our clients have two options in making the Chapter 13 plan payments to the Trustee: Payment through a payroll deduction, or payments by certified funds sent monthly. Each works well, but neither is as simple and convenient as payments online.
One of the Eastern District of Wisconsin Chapter 13 Trustees, Thomas J. King, just began implementing an online payment system through his office. Debtors who have Thomas J. King as their trustee can go here to find out how to sign up. Again, this is voluntary, and payments can still be made in the other formats. But it never hurts to have another reliable and easy option.