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What happens if a homeowner fails to respond to a Foreclosure Complaint

The Foreclosure process starts when the bank or lender files complaint in court against you. They would then either hire a private process service or the local sheriff’s office to serve you with a copy of the summons and the complaint against you. At that point, the ball is in your court. It is now your chance to respond. The court will give you 20 days to file what is called an "answer" to the complaint. Whether or not your respond will determine the timing and the outcome of the foreclosure. Some people choose to answer the complaint and fight their foreclosures, using defenses ranging from the lender not owning the loan to fraudulent practices. Sometimes the borrower files the answer to delay the process and to buy time in their house.

If you choose not to respond and instead choose to ignore the complaint, the lender will file a motion of default. A Motion for Default is the bank asking the judge to expedite the foreclosure against you since you failed to respond within the appropriate amount of time allotted. If the judge grants the motion, and he more than likely will, a hearing will not be required and the foreclosure will be granted.

A foreclosure judgment orders either the sale of a home to satisfy a debt or it awards title to the property to the plaintiff. A foreclosure judgment is not a money judgment that can be collected by wage garnishments or by executions against personal property. However, the lender does have a recourse in that they may seek to recover any deficiency which remains following a foreclosure sale in a separate lawsuit. A deficiency is damages that are limited to the difference between the mortgage debt and the fair market value of the property.

If you have served with a foreclosure complaint, contact a Foreclosure defense attorney today.

Categories: Foreclosure Defense
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