How do I respond to foreclosure summons papers?

UPDATED: May 23, 2012

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How do I respond to foreclosure summons papers?

I’m separated and will be filing for divorce and my husband is not cooperating with any type of short sale or deed in lieu regarding our home. We are under in the house and I have no interest in keeping it. I don’t know what steps to take from here regarding the summons. I’ve been stuck paying all of our bills for the past year and am unable to hire an attorney of any kind.

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You will need to file an answer to the complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons).  The answer is filed with the court with an attached proof of service and you serve a copy of the answer by mail on the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney.  If you don't file the answer with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party within the time set forth in the summons, you will lose by default and a default judgment will be entered against you.

Although you said you don't want to keep the house, you can delay the foreclosure process by filing your answer to the complaint and continuing with litigation.  The answer to the complaint denies the allegations in the complaint.  At the law library, look for answer to complaint in the index of Pleading and Practice.  This will give you the general format for an answer to the complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign and date under penalty of perjury.  File the answer to the complaint with verification and an attached proof of service with the court and serve a copy by mail on the opposing party. You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over eighteen and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to __________ (name and address of opposing party)  on ________ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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