Foreclosure Litigation can be defined as a legal process which a mortgage lender utilizes in order to obtain ownership of your estate, just as a finance firm might repossess your vehicle. The lender must lodge a lawsuit against you and correctly notify you with a complaint to start the foreclosure method. Once you have been provided with a complaint, you will have 28 days to submit a response. In case you need an extension of the 28 days time period, you can contact the Clerks of Courts Offices. They will advise you if an extension is available or not. You can also contact the attorney of the lender and request for an extension.
Your response does not have to be formal. In case you do not have an attorney, you can just copy the format used in the complaint and answer each sentence sincerely by acknowledging it, rejecting it or saying you do not have sufficient information to acknowledge or reject it. Follow the directions on the summons to serve your reply. Contact an attorney if you have a legitimate claim against the lender. They can help you put “affirmative defenses” in your answer.
After filing your answer, you can request the lender’s attorney in writing to offer you with copies of all papers to be used to prove their case along with the names of people who will testify or argue against you and any other proof they will produce. The Tribunal will generally set up a meeting which you can join without an attorney. The pre-trial dates and deadlines will be fixed and you may request the maximum feasible time possible. You can also request the tribunal or the court of justice to plan a mediation to address possible alternatives other than the purchase of your property by a Sheriff.
You should still take action even if you can’t afford a lawyer or if you don’t get any assistance from your legal aid. For instance, you can ask lender’s attorney for “cash for keys” agreement where you provide the lender, with a “consent judgment entry” and negotiate a certain date to move out and leave the broom clean home in exchange of money. Other alternatives may include loan modification or bankruptcy filing to delay foreclosure and enable reorganization of your funds.
In case you do not submit a reply, the lender may receive a default judgment against you within a few months. Then it will proceed towards a Sheriff’s sale. Depending on the county, the timeline may vary, but you are likely to have at six months from the foreclosure filling to move out. Homeowners may remain in the house for a year or more in bigger counties. The house will remain yours until the Sheriff’s sale is verified.