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Do i have to appear in a mortgage foreclosure summons even if i do not want to keep the home?

Chicago, IL |

my husband & i have been separated for over a year. He has been living in the home since the separation. He has filed for bankruptcy. I do not wish to keep the house. What are my options?

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Attorney answers 5


I never recommend not appearing in a legal matter where you've been named as a party. In this case perhaps you can appear pro se and ask to be dismissed if youre no longer in the home and not on the mortgage. If you're on the mortgage, however, the bank probably won't dismiss yo. In that case you should stay involved in the case because it will affect your credit.

This answer is intended as informational only, and does not constitute legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship between us.


You need to talk to a good real estate/foreclosure attorney in order to determine your exposure due to a deficiency, or such other legal issue.

My best to you.

This firm is in the business of helping people and companies file for bankruptcy protection. Therefore, the bankruptcy code requires that we call our firm a "debt relief agency." This information is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a legal opinion, legal advice or a complete discussion of the related issues. Nor is this advice intended to create a client - attorney relationship. Every individual's factual situation is different and you should seek independent legal advice from an attorney familiar with the laws of your state or locality regarding specific information.


In short, no you do not have to appear. However, if your name is on the note, a deficiency judgment can be entered against you (this means you can potentially owe money to the bank even after the foreclosure is over). Check the documents form your closing, or the complaint that was filed in court to see if you are liable (if you signed the note). If you are not sure, ask a foreclosure attorney asap. Either way, please note that the foreclosure will result in the title being taken away, which will lead to an eviction. Good luck.


Although you do not want to keep the house, you should fully understand the consequences of allowing the bank to foreclose on the property. It will greatly affect your credit for up to 7 years and you may be responsible for paying a deficiency which could be substantial. Did you sign the promissory note associated with the property? There are other potential options besides the bank foreclosing which could minimize the effects on your credit. Seek out an attorney who practices foreclosure defense to assist you.

This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


Going to foreclosure court without an attorney can be as damaging or worse if you don't go. It important to get a lawyer. Too many prose defendants are completely outmatched by the bank attorneys.

A personal deficiency judgement lasts up to 20 years. They may leave you alone for now but years later you may be sideswiped by a wage garnishment.

However there are ways to negotiate possibly avoiding personal deficiency, make sure you have the right lawyer who knows how. You can do it by avoiding bankruptcy all together. Of course if that doesn't work you can file bankruptcy anytime.

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