Attorney David Krekeler reflects on meeting legal deadlines in your strategy.

Last month, a client brought me a foreclosure complaint to review. Unfortunately, the time within which to respond to the complaint had long since passed. In fact, the judgment had already been entered so we will employ other means to protect his property.

The foreclosure complaint had information about that particular county’s foreclosure mediation program attached to it. The time within to request mediation was only 10 days from the date he was served with the Summons and Complaint.

We will never know if a timely request for mediation would have been beneficial, but it is often worth the effort to try. Many of our clients have been able to keep their homes, or modify their loans, through mediation.

Foreclosure mediation programs are relatively new. The first one, I believe, was started in Iowa County by then Circuit Court Judge William Dyke in 2009. I had just given a foreclosure law seminar to circuit court judges at the request of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Dyke approached me afterwards and explained the program he was starting. Since then foreclosure mediation programs have been implemented in about 68 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Like any program, there are rules which must be followed and time limits which must be met. If you or someone you know is ever sued for foreclosure, be sure to review carefully all of the papers which are received and be sure to consider a possible mediation effort. Never assume there is just nothing you can do to save your home or other property.