After a foreclosure complaint is filed, it must be served upon the homeowner and any other named defendants. In addition to the homeowner, the lender/processor will usually name any known or unknown tenants, as well as any other entity with a lien or interest in the property. “Service of Process” is the actual delivery of a copy of the complaint and summons by a process server or sheriff to the homeowner. Additional defendants may include the holder of a second mortgage, home owner or condominium associations (HOA), any bank issuing a home equity line of credit (HELOC), contractors with liens against the property, and even local or county government to whom taxes or fines are owned.
After the process server or sheriff serves the complaint upon the defendant, the process server files a notice with the Court. Once the homeowner or other defendant is served, they have twenty days to file an answer or a motion to dismiss. If the defendant/homeowner does not respond to the complaint within the allotted time, the plaintiff/lender can move for a default. A default is the legal equivalent of losing a sporting event by forfeit. A default does not occur automatically because the homeowner fails to file an answer, rather it only occurs after the plaintiff moves for a default. As such, if the defendant fails to file an answer within twenty days but files an answer before an order of default is issued then a defendant may be able to avoid default.
You cannot afford to do nothing. Just because it has been twenty days since you were served does not mean that a default has been entered against you. Attorney John M. Howe can explain to you how you may still have time to save your home, buy more time to re-negotiate your loan with your bank or find a short sale buyer for your home.
If your answer is overdue but you have not been defaulted, the Law Office of John M. Howe will take immediate action on your behalf, usually within twenty-four hours of being hired.
South Florida business law attorney John M. Howe provides cost-effective legal services for business and asset purchases, as well as for a variety of other commercial issues. The Law Office of John M. Howe has helped many potential and current business owners solve problems and avoid future ones. From his office in West Palm Beach, Florida, Attorney John M. Howe serves Florida’s southeast region from Vero Beach to the Keys.
To discuss your business and asset purchase, contact an experienced business and corporate law firm, the Law Office of John M. Howe. Fill out our online form or call us at 561-296-7772 or toll-free at 866-930-2938.
We are committed to fighting your fight, protecting your rights and the rights of your family to ensure that you receive justice and nothing less.