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I am a renter in a house that is in foreclosure. I noticed on the court clerks website that a motion for default.

Tampa, FL |

We are renters in a house that is in foreclosure. We were served papers (as was the owner of the home, of course) well over a year ago and responded properly to them and have been living in the house since then. I noticed on the court clerks website that a "motion for default on unknown parties in possession" was recently filed. What does this motion mean with regard to how much time we have left? How quickly is a motion of that nature ruled on and what is the likely timeline if the motion is granted? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2


As a general proposition, it is a good idea for a tenant to response to a foreclosure lawsuit. A tenant should inform the court that they are not admitting liability to the debt, and the tenant should alert the court that they may have rights under the Tenants in Foreclosure Act.

The answers your questions would require more information than what has been provided. I would recommend obtaining a copy of the document that you see on the clerk's website, because the motion you are referencing may not even be directed toward you.

Timeline on a foreclosure case can vary dramatically. A motion may take a couple months to be heard, or it may not require a hearing at all. The foreclosure case could last a few months or a few years. The particular motion you are describing has very little to do with the overall timeline of the case. I would recommend consulting with an attorney to get a more detailed review of the case and your options.

This response is intended for informational purposes only and should not relied upon as legal advice. Furthermore, this response should not be deemed to create an attorney/client relationship. All specific legal issues should be reviewed in a consultation with an attorney so as to account for individual circumstances.


It is great that you filed an answer in time for you to protect yourself from a default. In addition your answer puts the parties on notice that there is someone in the home with rights. If you have a lease it is important to file it with the Clerk of Court and send a copy to all of the parties.
A client came to me last week and showed me a court order that evicted him from the home he was leasing. He did sent a copy of his lease to the lenders attorney. They conveniently forgot about it. We were able to an emergency hearing within 4 hours of filing a motion. He is back in his home.

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