Center Purpose. The purpose of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (“C.A.R.”) Real Estate Mediation Center for Consumers (the “Center”) is to provide parties to real estate transactions with a highly qualified pool of specially trained, objective and reliable mediation professionals to assist them in resolving real estate related disputes. The goal of the Center is to provide consumers with a supportive and confidential process to work with a mediator toward reaching a mutually agreeable settlement and thereby avoid the time, expense and uncertainty of litigating their dispute in court.
2. Cases Eligible for Mediation. All real estate disputes, with a focus on real estate disputes among consumers arising under the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (“RPA-CA”). In addition, the Center may consider and accept other types of disputes on a case-by-case basis.
3. Center Contacts. All correspondence with the Center should be directed in writing to:
Mail to: C.A.R. Real Estate Mediation Center
Attn: Mediation Administrator
525 S. Virgil Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90020
4. Costs and Fees. Center mediators are required to keep their mediation fee schedule and any associated policies up-to-date at all times with the Center. Parties will be provided mediator fee and policy schedules in advance of selecting their mediator.
a. Filing Costs. The $200 filing cost is paid by the parties directly to the Center and is non-refundable. If the initiating party has paid the full $200 filing cost, the initiating party may reduce his/her deposit to the mediator for any portion of the filing cost not paid by responding party and responding party's deposit obligation will be increased by such amount. Fees to the mediator are separate and billed by and paid directly to the mediator as provided below.
b. No Fees for Preparation. In general, Center mediators agree to provide travel time, brief review, and preparation time on a pro bono basis (without charge). For complex disputes or disputes that require extensive review of documents in advance of the mediation, preparation fees may apply and in such case you must notify the parties of any such fees prior to scheduling the mediation.
c. Initial Hourly Fees to Parties. Center mediators agree to a maximum collective fee to the parties of $150.00 per hour for the first 2 hours of hearing time. Parties commit to a minimum of 3 hours of hearing time. Hourly fees after the first 2 hours are at the rate provided in the mediator’s fee and policy schedule provided to the parties prior to selecting their mediator. All mediator fees are billed by and paid directly to the mediator.
d. Fee Deposit. The Center defaults to a minimum deposit equal to 3 hours mediation time to be provided by the parties prior to scheduling the mediation. Mediators are required to publish any deviation from this policy within their fee and policy schedule.
e. Cancellation/Continuance Fees. Mediators may charge cancellation/continuance fees as follows: if notice is received 4 calendar days or more prior to the scheduled mediation, $200 cancellation/continuance fee. If notice is received 3 calendar days or less prior to the scheduled mediation, $500 cancellation/continuance fee. Cancellation/continuance fees may be reduced or waived at the discretion of the mediator and may be applied to the deposit of the party making the request.
Check. Center mediators are required to perform a conflict of interest check in connection with all mediation participants to determine matters potentially affecting their impartiality. Prior to proceeding with the mediation, the mediator must obtain the prior written consent of all mediation participants for any waiver of a conflict of interest.
6. Scheduling Process and Timeframes. Mediators will generally have twenty (20) calendar days from the date the matter is accepted for the scheduling process. If you are unable to schedule the mediation within this time frame, you may submit a request to the Center requesting a one-time thirty (30) day extension. All scheduling is performed by the mediator and any scheduling inquiries will be referred to the mediator by the Center.
7. Notice to the Parties. Once the mediation has been scheduled, the mediator will provide written notice to the parties of the details of the mediation, the mediation process, and a conflict of interest disclosure.
8. Post Mediation Survey. Following the mediation, you will have three business days to return to the Center completed Form MD, Mediation Disposition. Please also remind the parties that they will be contacted by email to request that you complete a survey about the mediation process and your mediation services. The Center will maintain the parties’ survey responses as confidential and use this information solely to evaluate and improve the Center program and distribute general statistical data related to the Center program (in the aggregate without disclosure of confidential identifying data).