The Indiana Supreme Court’s Mortgage Foreclosure Trial Court Assistance Project (MFTCAP) is a settlement conference program seeking to join borrowers and lenders with court-appointed facilitators. As a result of legislation passed in 2009, Indiana homeowners with a foreclosure action filed against them continue to have the right to participate in a settlement conference with their lender in an effort to come to an agreement that will avert foreclosure. Funding for this project is provided in part by the Indiana Bar Foundation.
If you have an interest in acting as a facilitator for MFTCAP settlement conferences in your county, you must first receive approval from the judge in your county that will be referring litigants to the MFTCAP program. Once that judge has provided a recommendation to the Indiana Office of Court Service (IOCS) on your behalf, you must download and complete the MFTCAP Facilitator Contract provided below. Upon submission of the completed contract, IOCS will review the contract and determine if there are any outstanding matters that might hinder approval of the submitted contract.
If approved, the facilitator must use the MFTCAP Facilitator Invoice provided below to submit all claims for services in order to be paid for such work. All invoices must be submitted to the Indiana Supreme Court's payables inbox at email@example.com. Failure to submit the invoice as described in the contract, in the MFTCAP Facilitator Invoice instructions, and as described here may result in the delay and/or denial of your claim(s).
There have been some important changes to the process in place previously of which returning facilitators should be aware:
- The types of services able to be claimed are now defined within the instructions tab within the Facilitator Invoice Template. These definitions may differ from your previous understanding of these terms.
- Claims for "Scheduling a Phone Conference," "Conducting a Phone Conference," and "Scheduling an In-Person Settlement Conference" may only be claimed once an in-person settlement conference has been conducted on the case.
- There is now a dropdown menu button to be used to enter the value of each claim, rather than having the claim value be entered manually.
- The forty-five (45) day requirement for timely submission of claims runs from the date when the facilitator has conducted the in-person settlement conference; for follow-up in-person settlement conferences, the forty-five (45) day requirement runs from the follow-up conference.
- Only one in-person settlement conference and one follow-up in-person settlement conference may be claimed for any case.
Who may provide these facilitation services
In order to ensure that the services being provided exceed the minimal level of quality, any facilitators wishing to be eligible to provide these services must be referred to the Indiana Office of Court Services (IOCS) by a referring judge of the county in which services will be provided, and must execute a service contract with the IOCS and follow all required steps in that process.
How litigants can access these services
The process for referring litigants to these services will be identical to the process prior to December 31, 2018. Indiana Code 32-30-10.5-8(c) provides that the creditor must include in the summons a notice that the debtor has the right to participate in a settlement conference by notifying the court of the debtor’s intent to participate. If the debtor so notifies the creditor, the court then is able to refer the parties to the contracted service provider for that county.
How settlement conference services will be paid
As with services prior to December 31, 2018, contracted facilitators will submit their invoices as required within the contract. Facilitators are required to be registered as vendors with the State of Indiana and will complete that registration during the process of being accepted as a contracted facilitator.
How to begin offering this service
Judges are encouraged to contact Mike Commons, Staff Attorney with the IOCS, at the number and email address below. Also, they should find a facilitator that has provided these services previously or determine who might best provide these services moving forward.
If you have any questions, please contact Mike Commons, Staff Attorney, Indiana Office of Court Services, firstname.lastname@example.org.