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I just received a Motion for Judicial Default regarding my foreclosure in Florida. How can I file a motion for time extension?

Tampa, FL |

I received a Motion for Judicial Default and the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment regarding the foreclosure of my homestead here in Florida. At the same time, I received the Certificate of Compliance with Foreclosure Procedures.

First, I was under the impression Mediation was a requirement prior foreclosure. However, I have not been offered mediation and the aforementioned Certificate of Compliance appeared to make mediation not an option since the Complaint was filed prior to 07/01/2010. Do I , or do I not, have a right to mediation?

Second, I am actively negotiating with Wells Fargo for a loan modification. I have all of the paperwork they have sent me along with my responses. How can I file a motion to extend the Summary Judgment while negotiating a loan modification?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Do to the date of the foreclosure filing, you do not have the right to a mediation but many Florida judges will order lenders to mediation in cases where a loan modification, forbearance agreement or short sale are being actively negotiated.

  2. You have not indicated that you responded to the lawsuit which is a requirement under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. If you are actively negotiating with the lender, you may want to contact the lawyer for the lender, involve the lender's lawyer in the negotiations, and ask for an extension of time.

    This response does not provide legal advice on any specific legal matter or factual situation. This information is not intended to create or provide legal advice or a lawyer-client relationship. It is not legal advice. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

  3. If a motion for default has been filed against you then it is essential that an answer is served in your case. My suggestion is that retain an attorney to file an answer customized to the fact of your case and asserting every affirmative defense available to you which might include a lender's failure to comply with HAMP (loan modification) servicing guidelines [ if the property is your homestead Wells Fargo was REQUIRED to evaluate you for loan modification under HAMP BEFORE they files suit not after ].

    Do not be lulled into a false impression of security just because you are talking to Wells Fargo's loss mitigation. While you play footsie with Wells Fargo's loss mitigation staff their lawyer is attempting to stab you in the back with a motion for default. It is their lawyer's job to take your house and if he or she is filing such motions Wells Fargo has not called off the dogs. Right now you may have a very solid case. If you wait until the bank has won summary judgment to hire a lawyer, the lawyer you hire will have far less leverage. There are several good attorneys in Tampa who defend foreclosures, many of which offer a free consultation. (Our firm does not take cases in Tampa because we do not go to Court in Tampa). Even if you could settle with Wells Fargo the difference between a loan modification that drops your interest rate form 6% to 4% versus a modification from 6% to 2% (the lowest under HAMP) would save you tens of thousands of dollars over the duration of your loan. Last month our firm resolved an Orange County foreclosure case with a settlement agreement wherein our client's interest rate was reduced from 6.125% to 2%, and as a result our client's payment went from $1,830 to slightly over $1,100. This settlement will save the client over $40,000 over the next five years alone. We closed the file in under three months and the cost of such defense was under $2,500.00. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish. If you retain the right lawyer a small investment in legal defense may not only save your home but save you tens of thousands in interest over the duration of your loan. If the lawyer you hire understands the difference between foreclosure delay and foreclosure defense the money you spend to save your home will be an excellent investment.