Florida foreclosure law, procedure for responding to a foreclosure summons

Asked about 6 years ago - Hollywood, FL

How do I respond to the summons for foreclosure by mail or in person? and if by mail where do I send it and if in person where do I go? I have never done anything like this before and can't afford and attorney at this time

Additional information

One other thing if this needs to be done in person can another individual besides myself do it? I just started a job last Monday and really can't start taking time off.

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Rasha Ghazwan Lutfi

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    35

    Answered . The most important aspect of any lawsuit is filing a timely answer or motion to dismiss. If you do not respond within the proper time period, a default may be entered against you. Typically in Florida you must respond within 20 days of proper service. This means that 20 days after you are served with the lawsuit paperwork you must file either what is called an “answer” or if you have grounds, a “motion to dismiss.” It is wise to consult with an attorney the moment you are served with a lawsuit. Your attorney may chose to file a motion to extend the time to respond to the lawsuit or even obtain an agreement from the other side to extend the time to answer to the lawsuit. As far as foreclosure is concerned, you may have defenses, even if you are behind on your mortgage payments.
    As far as responding to a lawsuit, I always hand file my initial pleadings. Make sure to take 2 copies to the courthouse, so the clerk can stamp a copy for your records. However, I would not recommend going into a foreclosure lawsuit without the assistance of an attorney. Check with the Florida Bar they may be able to assist you with finding an attorney in your area that has agreed to take foreclosure defense cases pro bono.

  2. David Lawrence Ganz

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    35

    Answered . You do not state whether your house is being foreclosed (i.e., a mortgage on the housein whcih you reside) or where you have given a second (or third) mortgage that is being foreclosedupon. Foreclosures have seveeral compoent parts:Mortgage foreclosures includea summons, complaint, notice of pendency preparation and service of process; preparation of motion to appoint referee; referee's report; preparation of judgment of foreclosure and sale; preparation of various declarations and affidavits of regularity; attendance at the foreclosure sale; supplemental follow up with the Court concerning either deficiency or surplus, between 40 to 50 hours of time over a period of between nine months and a year in some states, onger in others. WHAT IS FORECLOSURE? Foreclosure takes away property from its lawful owner in order to pay back (partially or fully) a debt. If you bought a home with a mortgage (or trust deed) on it and you don't make the payments (or break other conditions of the loan), the lender may go through foreclosure to take the property away from you.
    TYPES OF FORECLOSURE Although the law of foreclosure differs in each state, in
    general there are two types of foreclosure that are utilized,
    depending upon what part of the country you are from. "Foreclosure by advertisement" is typically used when the mortgage instrument is a trust deed and is more common in the Western part of the United States. "Judicial foreclosure" is used when the debt instrument is a mortgage and is more commonly used in the Eastern part. Regardless, both methods of foreclosure have as their goals an
    extinguishment of all inferior liens, and a transfer of the
    property to the lender who is foreclosing.
    PROCEDURE Prior to commencement of a foreclosure action the lender (secured party) will usually demand payment in full. The lender will typically base the demand upon the borrower's default of some material term in an underlying agreement, most of the time, failure to make payment in accordance with the terms and conditions of a mortgage. What is clear is that because the law does not consent to the
    taking of real or personal property lightly, it tends to be a long
    process, and sometimes a cumbersome and complicated one. If it is successful, the liens on the property are extinguished and ownership is forever lost. (There are certain exceptions permitting an equity of redemption). If the foreclosing party proceeds judicially, the debtor will
    be served a summons, complaint, and notice of pendency of action,
    sometimes referred to by its Latin name, lis pendens. This notice
    is designed to be filed with the land records, to give a clear,
    unequivocal warning to anyone who might wish to search the records,
    or purchase the property, that it is the subject of a foreclosure
    proceeding. If someone buys after the lis pendens is filed, they
    take subject to the foreclosure -- and their likely loss of various
    rights, including ownership. Subject to the different procedures required in accordance
    with the civil procedure laws of each State, there are certain
    common elements with every foreclosure action.

    yOU RESPOND TO PROCESS BY SERVING AN ANSWER ON PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY WITH A COPY TO THE APPLICABLE coURT. iF YOU ARE A SUBORDINATE LIENOR, IT IS NOT UNCOMMON O WAIVE FURTHER NOTICE EXCEPT FOR A SURPLUSTHAT YOU MAY SHARE IN. tHERE ARE MANY AWYERS YOU CAN CONSULT ABOUT IT. iF YOU ARE THE HOMEOWNER, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

  3. Gregory David Clark

    Contributor Level 3

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    12

    Answered . Further to the answers provided by the other attorneys above I would stress to you that filing a basic answer, under the rules, will cause you to lose many defenses you can bring by way of preliminary motions that test the sufficiency of the foreclosure complaint to begin with. Worse still are your loss of affirmative defenses if you file a simple answer. And the very worse thing you could do if you file a simple answer is to admit the paragraph where the lender alleges thay they own and/ or hold the note or have the right to enforce it.

    We have a model case here in Pinellas County, Florida that shows the power you have as a defendant. It is free to view as a public record and I invite you to check it out. Email me at gclark560@aol.com. Visit my website at:

    www.gregorydclarklaw.com

  4. Gregory David Clark

    Contributor Level 3

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    6

    Answered . I posted to this thread about five months ago and have received quite a few direct responses. I hope all of you are procedding diligently with your cases. Please make use of the following update information, if your case is in Florida, which I hope will help you in your defense:

    1. View the recently released Florida Supreme Court Special Task Force Report:

    http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/doc...

    If you prefer to instead google this up just use the search words: "supreme court special task force report"

    2. Earlier this summer I was on Fox News, channel 13 (Tampa Bay market) to address some of the reasons. methods, and costs associated with foreclosure defense. It has been posted, commercial free on YouTube in three 7 minute segments: simply use these words in the search box at the youtube website: "greg clark foreclosure" or you can google it up using these search words: "greg clark foreclosure youtube"

    Also, you can alway reach me by email or phone:
    www.gregorydclarklaw.com

  5. Margery Ellen Golant

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    26

    Answered . Please do not try to do this by yourself ! If you try, there is a good chance that you will do serious harm to your case. Foreclosure defense is possible, but ONLY by truly knowledgable foreclosure defense attorneys.

    Please see my website, www.golantlaw.com for a lot of additional information. We practice foreclosure defense in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. It is very likely we can assist you. All our contact information is on our website.

  6. Joseph Brien

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    3

    Answered . The quick answer is by mail to the Clerk of Court and by fax or mail to the opposing party or its attorney.

    But don't be so fast. There are many choices to consider in responding to suit for foreclosure. Motion to Quash Service, Motion to Dismiss, Answer and Affirmative defenes are but a few responses to consider. I suggest you contact a qualified attorney before you respond. Don't be "Penny wise, Pound foolish." Many mistakes can be found in the foreclosure filings these days as many of the fiing are done by Foreclosure mills that fail to consider deficiencies of their lender clients' position. In some cases the alleged lender does not even have the right (standing) to sue.

  7. Margery Ellen Golant

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    26

    Answered . There is no specific form or letter that will do anything for you. What is needed is to file a legally suffficient response. There is no way to generalize about what that would be. The things that borrowers file on their own normally do not help and often make matters worse.

    Defense of foreclosure is tricky and specialized. That is what we do. If you want to discuss your situation with us, we do not charge anything for an initial consultation, and can analyze your situation to see what can be done. Given your time situation, if you want to do that, please contact us today. Our contact information is on our web site, www.golantlaw.com

  8. Gregory David Clark

    Contributor Level 3

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    3

    Answered . I posted to this thread about five months ago and have received quite a few direct responses. I hope all of you are procedding diligently with your cases. Please make use of the following update information, if your case is in Florida, which I hope will help you in your defense:

    1. View the recently released Florida Supreme Court Special Task Force Report:

    http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/doc...

    If you prefer to instead google this up just use the search words: "supreme court special task force report"

    2. Earlier this summer I was on Fox News, channel 13 (Tampa Bay market) to address some of the reasons. methods, and costs associated with foreclosure defense. It has been posted, commercial free on YouTube in three 7 minute segments: simply use these words in the search box at the youtube website: "greg clark foreclosure" or you can google it up using these search words: "greg clark foreclosure youtube"

    Also, you can alway reach me by email or phone:
    www.gregorydclarklaw.com

  9. Gregory David Clark

    Contributor Level 3

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    2

    Answered . I posted to this thread about five months ago and have received quite a few direct responses. I hope all of you are procedding diligently with your cases. Please make use of the following update information, if your case is in Florida, which I hope will help you in your defense:

    1. View the recently released Florida Supreme Court Special Task Force Report:

    http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/doc...

    If you prefer to instead google this up just use the search words: "supreme court special task force report"

    2. Earlier this summer I was on Fox News, channel 13 (Tampa Bay market) to address some of the reasons. methods, and costs associated with foreclosure defense. It has been posted, commercial free on YouTube in three 7 minute segments: simply use these words in the search box at the youtube website: "greg clark foreclosure" or you can google it up using these search words: "greg clark foreclosure youtube"

    Also, you can alway reach me by email or phone:
    www.gregorydclarklaw.com

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

26,528 answers this week

3,169 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

26,528 answers this week

3,169 attorneys answering