Banks and tax collectors file foreclosure cases in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in downtown Cleveland. Cuyahoga Common Pleas is the largest state court in Ohio. Cuyahoga Common Pleas handles foreclosures differently than in other places in Ohio. It is important for the homeowner to understand the process here.
When a foreclosure case is filed, it is randomly assigned to one of the 34 judges in the court. Once the judge has been assigned the foreclosure, however, the case is immediately referred to one of the 12 foreclosure magistrates. Magistrates are like deputy judges. The 12 foreclosure magistrates decide the foreclosure cases for the 34 judges. The foreclosure magistrates do not work in the main courthouse. Instead, they have their own department and their own staff, catty-corner from the Justice Center, at 310 West Lakeside, on the sixth floor. The foreclosure magistrates all have deep experience in foreclosure and are subject-matter experts.
If you receive a summons in a foreclosure case, it will tell you the name of the judge in the case. But to find out which magistrate was assigned your case, you can call the magistrates’ department at (216) 443-8505. The staff in the magistrates’ department are very helpful, and can answer some questions for the homeowner.
I have had cases before all of the foreclosure magistrates in Cuyahoga County. Please call me at (216) 357-3870 or click here to send me an e-mail for some free, expert advice about your case and your options.
The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas has a strong foreclosure mediation program. This is a great resource for people facing mortgage or tax foreclosure. The foreclosure mediation program is located on the 10th floor of the Justice Center, at 1200 Ontario Street. The foreclosure department can be reached at (216) 698-7138.
When you receive the initial foreclosure filing from the court, included in the packet will be a foreclosure mediation request form. If homeowners or their attorney complete and submit this form, the mediation program may accept the case for mediaton. If the case is accepted for mediation, the foreclosure case is stayed, or paused, while the mediation process takes place. So, even if you are not sure what outcome you want, you can apply for mediation. Doing so will slow the case down, giving you time to learn your options and make a plan.
Once a foreclosure case is accepted to mediation in Cuyahoga County, the mediation program will set two conferences. The first conference is called the pre-mediation conference. The second conference is called the full mediation process. The mediators and staff are very helpful, and you can call them with any questions. I do recommend, however, that you hire a lawyer to help you in mediation. The mediation process can be complicated, and having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side is a great help.
An important note: Participating in foreclosure mediation is not a substitute for taking part in the foreclosure case by, at a minimum, filing an answer and attending all hearings. You must participate in both mediation and the court case to preserve your rights. I would be happy to discuss your case and your options with you in a free consultation. Please call me to schedule a time to talk.
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