The Importance of Hiring a Foreclosure Defense Attorney
For the majority of the citizens of the United States, a home is the single most valuable asset that they will own over a lifetime. For many Americans, a home can be much more than just a place to live, as the physical and emotional attachments that are formed by a homeowner in many cases are just as valuable as the functionality of the property.
Currently, due to the dark state of our country’s economic climate, the long held American dream of home ownership is under attack. This full-on frontal assault on the American homeowner is being spearheaded by the nationally recognized financial pillars of our society, and has come in the form of an unprecedented number of wrongful and fraudulent residential mortgage foreclosures. Now more than ever, it is of the utmost importance that American homeowners stand up and defend against the malicious actions of our nation’s financial institutions.
A residential foreclosure action begins by the bank, investor or servicing company, which claims to own or have a legal interest in the note and mortgage on a subject property, filing a formal complaint for mortgage foreclosure. The complaint sets forth the allegations against the homeowner that give rise to the foreclosure action, and attempts to establish their right to repossess the property. A copy of the complaint, along with all the other legal documents filed by the Plaintiff, is required to be served upon the homeowner upon initiation of the lawsuit. Once a homeowner has been served with the complaint they have twenty (20) days to respond in writing to the allegations contained therein, and to assert any defenses the homeowner may have to the foreclosure action. This is one of the most important and pivotal stages of the lawsuit, and signals the beginning of the litigation process. It is imperative that the homeowner properly responds to the complaint within the twenty (20) day time period as provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. In the event that a homeowner fails to respond to the complaint within the twenty (20) day time period, the court will effectively deem the allegations contained in the complaint as true and will assume that no legal defenses to the foreclosure action exist.
The Plaintiff in a foreclosure action is always hopeful that a homeowner does not respond to their complaint. When a lawsuit goes uncontested, the Plaintiff is then able to move the case quickly through the court system. Additionally, the Plaintiff will likely avoid being questioned as to the validity of any documents or evidence they have provided to the court to establish their standing to bring the subject lawsuit. As a result of the issues outlined above, it is extremely important that any homeowner that has been sued for foreclosure speaks with a qualified Foreclosure Defense Attorney immediately upon being served. A Foreclosure Defense Attorney will be able to properly answer the allegations contained in the complaint, as well as set forth the best legal defenses available. Additionally, they will have the knowledge and expertise to determine if there are any issues relating to fraud upon the court, intentional misrepresentation of evidence to the judiciary or any other issue that would prevent a final judgment of foreclosure from being entered against the homeowner.
Because of these issues and a multitude of others, it is imperative that a homeowner contacts a Foreclosure Defense Attorney as soon as possible after being sued for foreclosure in order to preserve their rights and to insure that the attorney can provide the best possible defense to the entry of a final judgment of foreclosure against the homeowner.