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What Is Mediation?

What is mediation? Mediation is a process in which two or more parties negotiate a voluntary agreement with the help of a mediator. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties. Statements made during mediation are protected under Ohio’s Uniform Mediation Act (UMA) as set forth in Ohio Revised Code 2710.01-2710.10 (R.C. 2710.01-2710.10). This privilege gives one the ability to stop other people from revealing what was said at a mediation. Does this mean everything said in a mediation is protected by privilege? No. The following topics are not protected by privilege under the UMA: discussions disclosing abuse or neglect of children and abuse or neglect of the elderly; plans to commit crimes; threats of violence; whether a mediation occurred; and signed settlement agreements. Mediators are neutral third parties who assist the parties with issue identification and problem solving. The mediator will usually meet with each side separately, but some mediation sessions are held with all the parties present face-to-face. Mediation is a useful tool used in several areas of the law, including civil cases, child custody cases, divorces, foreclosures, and abuse, neglect and dependency cases. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the mediator may schedule a follow-up session or may report to the court that an agreement was not reached.   (more…)

What is the Foreclosure Process?

What is the foreclosure process?  Before a foreclosure case is filed, the mortgage company sends a foreclosure referral package to their attorney.  A title examination is done to identify all individuals and entities that have an interest in the real estate, which can even include spouse’s dower rights.  Once that is done, a complaint is filed, with instructions to serve the individuals and entities with an interest in the real estate.  Service usually occurs by certified mail or by a sheriff’s deputy.  Once the homeowner receives the complaint, he or she has 28 days to formally respond to the complaint.  These are 28 actual days, which include weekends and holidays.  In other words, the due date is usually exactly four weeks from the date of service.  Once the complaint is received, it is important to consult with an attorney to determine if there are any legal defenses that need to raised, as well as any motions that need to be filed prior to answering the complaint.  Some claims must be raised before filing a formal answer. (more…)