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I was just served a civil action summons for foreclosure. It states I have twenty days to respond to the county courthouse.

Clearwater, FL |

Is there a form that I need to fill out? I would like to do a short sale. I tried to do a modification with the mortg comp and I was approved for hemp program but the investors will not work with me in any type of modification. I have owned the house since 1984. My husband was on disb because he went blind and then dropped because he has partial vision in one eye and then I lost my job. I have another now. The house is not worth what I owe. I need advise.

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Attorney answers 4


You definitely need to file some response within the 20 day time period, and you should try to find an attorney to help you. If you think you may not be able to afford an attorney, you should contact one of the legal aid organizations in your area (I have listed some of them below). Whatever you do, do not wait past the 20 days to act, as important property ownership rights may be negatively affected.

Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
314 S. Missouri Ave., Suite 109
Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: 727-443-0657
Fax: 727-461-9160
Office Website:
Counties Served: North Pinellas County

Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
641 First Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
Phone: 727-821-0726
Fax: 727-821-3340
Office Email & Website:
Counties Served: South Pinellas County

Bay Area Legal Services - West
2600 Dr. Martin Luther King Street, Suite 401
St. Petersburg, FL 33704-2744
Phone: (727) 490-4040
Fax: (727) 490-4045
Counties Served: Pinellas

Community Law Program (Pro Bono Program)
501 First Avenue North, Room 512
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 582-7402
Fax: (727) 582-7276
Office Email:
Office Website:
Counties Served: Pinellas


If you don't respond you will waive certain rights. You should find an attorney to help you as soon as possible.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.


No, there is no form to reply to a summons and complaint, which are the items that initiate a civil action. The sort of reply that should be made depends on the exact issues that exist, however the "right" thing to file is definitely NOT that you aree approved for HAMP or that the investor won't work with you. Every case is different. Only a really qualified foreclosure defense will know how to even figure out what those are.

There is no way to be more specific without much more information. That is why an attorney who really understands how this works needs to hear all the details. It may be that bankruptcy is your best option, and if so, there may be no need to do a short sale or to defend against foreclosure, however, as always, it depends on the details.

If you care how this turns out, I urge you to find an experienced attorney who is knowledgable about foreclosure defense and bankruptcy to help you. While you may think you can't afford competent counsel, you can't afford NOT to have proper advice and assistance. There may be ways to force the mortgage company into a HAMP modification, but there are very few attorneys who know how to do this. If you are indigent, contact the local Bar Association to see if there is a Legal Aid agency in your county taking foreclosure defense cases or if there is a pro bono program sponsored by the local Bar Assocation.


As you can see from the prior answers, you really need to consult an attorney.

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