It has taken over a year for Bank America to approve my HAFA Short Sale, I was turned over to REDC half way through the process and my paperwork has been lost at least 4 times. I am on my second buyer we are scheduled to close by Mid - End of October, 2011. I have made sure to keep my HOA Fees, Homeowners Insurance paid during the process so I would have a roof over my head. Because I was in a Boat Accident and unable to work, Short Sale is my only recourse, the process has taken so long that I have exhausted all of my financial resources. Thus the reason for my question. I do not have the money to pay for an attorney to handle the Complaint and Notice of Lis Pendens. Can I do this myself?
There is nothing legally to stop you from representing yourself in court. However, I would not advise it.
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Real Estate Attorney
I understand from my doctor friends that it is theoretically possible for a doctor to remove his own appendix, but it is not something that most doctors would do. You are in a similar situation, You can represent yourself in court, and the judge will listen to what you have to say. However, since you are not familiar with the rules of pleading and the ways to present evidence to the court, you would be much better served to hire a lawyer who is experienced in foreclosure defense to represent you.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
Real Estate Attorney
Unless your property is owned by a corporation or LLC, you can file a denial to the allegations of the complaint yourself - called a 'pro se' response. If you do not file a response, the foreclosure will continue forward (even though the lender has approved your short sale).
Although it is generally not advisable for people to represent themselves in a lawsuit, if you do not have the funds to hire an attorney, you can file a response yourself.
If your short sale transaction ends up cancelling, you should re-consider your finances and hire an attorney. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may be eligible for legal aid - check the summons served on you for their contact information.
This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Unless you are already a client of The Edwards Law Firm, PL, pursuant to an executed fee agreement, you should not use, interpret, or rely on this response as legal advice or opinion. Contact Sheryl A. Edwards, Esquire, Florida Board Certified Real Estate Expert, at (941)363-0110 to hire us help you solve your real estate problems. www.foreclosurelawyersarasotafl.com
I'm sorry to hear that BOA has filed a foreclosure action against you while you were attempting a HAFA Short Sale. Congratulations on getting an approval. Make sure that you stay in contact with BOA every six to eight business days to see if they need any further or updated documents until closing.
As indicated, it is not advisable to respond to a lawsuit pro se, but I understand that you don't want to spend the money to retain counsel. However, based upon your circumstances, you might be able to convince a foreclosure defense attorney to file a simple motion to dismiss on an hourly basis or nominal flat fee, knowing that the HAFA sale will be done in less then 60 days.
Another idea is to call BOA and ask them to put the foreclosure on "hold" for 60 days. If you go this route you MUST receive written confirmation (email will do) from the lender's counsel that they are acknowledging that they must not move the case forward during the hold period. Even then, I would advise you to monitor the Pinellas County Clerk of Court website, online services. Search civil cases by inputing our name and find the docket for your case and check it once a week. Good luck!