First of all, someone in your situation want to seek legal representation. If finances are an issue, I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...
…and another list:
Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:
Also, see here:
This can help you find counsel at low cost or free, hopefully.
There is no "right" to mediate. However the party may be open to mediate a settlement without foreclosing. But it is best to use legal counsel to approach them on this.
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