Mortgage Foreclosures

On May 5, 2011, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Act 48, SLH 2011 (“Act 48”) into law, pertaining to mortgage foreclosures. Among other things, Act 48 created a conversion process in which a qualified borrower could file a petition requesting that a nonjudicial foreclosure be converted into a judicial foreclosure.

On June 28, 2012, Governor Abercrombie signed Act 182, SLH 2012 (“Act 182”) into law which, among other things, amends certain provisions created by Act 48.

After Act 48 was signed into law, the Hawai’i Supreme Court issued rules establishing a process by which a qualified owner-occupant of a residential property subject to a non-judicial foreclosure could seek to convert a non-judicial foreclosure into a judicial foreclosure. After Act 182 was signed into law, the Supreme Court amended these rules. The Rules for Conversion of Non-Judicial Foreclosure Proceedings, a Certified Conversion Petition form, a Submission Statement (a form by which co-owners and co-signers may agree to submit the case to the courts), and form Judgments are available on the Judiciary’s website.

Please note that the information provided in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are for informational purposes only.  They are not intended to provide legal advice nor should they be cited as legal authority.

Because the Judiciary is unable to provide legal advice, parties are strongly encouraged to seek the services of an attorney.  The following organizations may be able to offer assistance:

  1. The Lawyer Referral Information Service sponsored by the Hawaii State Bar Association, at (808) 537-9140.
  2. The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii at (808) 536-4302 (Oahu) or 1-800-499-4302 (Neighbor Islands); or
  3. Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii at (808) 528-7046 (Oahu) or 1-800-839-5200 (Neighbor Islands).

Please see this link for a sample Declaration in Support of Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis for Mortgage Foreclosure Conversion Petition.

The Foreclosure Mediation Pilot Project in the Judiciary's Third Circuit allows homeowners on the Big Island, who have been served with a foreclosure action on the residential property that they occupy, to participate in mediation with their lender before the case is heard by a judge. Eligible borrowers may indicate their willingness to participate in mediation by filing a Foreclosure Mediation Request with the court. For more information, call (808) 961-7440. A report on the project can be found here.

If you are interested in obtaining information about the Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Program, please call the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs at (808) 587-3222 or (800) 394-1902 (if you are calling from a Neighbor Island).

Click here for the number of judicial foreclosure cases filed since 2010 and conversion petitions filed since May 5, 2011.

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