The first reaction to panic, though natural will not help if that panic is not followed by intelligent and informed action. Retain Counsel. Finding competent counsel should be the first action taken by someone served with a foreclosure summons. Even though money is tight, hiring counsel and having that Attorney explain to you the procedures in Illinois will go a long way in clearing your mind and being ready for step two. Check out all references of the Attorneys you are going to interview. Having a A rating on the BBB does not mean they are experienced Foreclosure Defense Attorneys. Check with other Attorneys to find out whether or not the Attorney is qualified and ask the Attorney for professional references.
I Am Not In A Panic. So What Do I Do While I Am Waiting For My Appointment With My Attorney?
Research, research and then when you think you are done researching, research some more. Replace the fear with qualified information. Look up the legal aide clinics in your area, locate qualified Attorneys for free or reasonable initial consultations, visit the local courthouse for more information about your case, contact your lender for available options .... etc.
What Is This Summons About?
Under Illinois law when someone is served with a summons/process, (the meaning of which is discussed in another AVVO.com Legal Guide), the defendant has thirty days to appear in court and file an appearance and answer or otherwise plead (discussed in another AVVO.com Legal Guide). This means that the defendant must go to court and actually respond to the complaint or otherwise plead. Responding to the complaint means to answer the allegations of the complaint. Typically, the foreclosure complaint states that you borrowed money, you failed to pay back the money as agreed and the bank is requesting that the property be returned to the bank.
When Do I Have To Respond?
Failing to respond within the time provided grants the Plaintiff the right to motion (move) the court to grant the Plaintiff to declare the Defendant in default. Once a default is entered against the Defendant many of the rights a Defendant diminish because by failing to respond, the Defendant is essentially admitting the facts of Plaintiff's complaint.