What to do if we’re being sued but the date we need to answer by passed before we were even served?

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What to do if we’re being sued but the date we need to answer by passed before we were even served?

We have a double wide that was bought 16 years ago with homeowners insurance after our first mobile home burned down. We were contacted a while ago stating that the title had not been filed. My husband kept telling that it had but they kept calling. I received a call from a woman from the these people saying that the title was found and that the matter was going to be dropped but soon after they started calling again. My husband contacted the man we bought the mobile from and he said he remembered us and that he personally went to the title company and filed the title; he would help us prove it. I  finally found the title but since they stopped calling we let it go. Then the other day we were served legal papers stating that we had to respond but by a date that had already passed (by 3 weeks). We are starting to panic mainly because we are having trouble understanding the wording. Who can we turn to that can help us and what can you suggest?

Asked on July 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the opposing party obtains a judgment by default because you didn't answer the complaint (lawsuit), you should file a motion to set aside the default.  Your argument is that you were not served with the summons and complaint until three weeks after the answer was due.  Consequently, it was impossible for you to file a timely answer to the complaint

After the judgment is set aside, file an answer to the complaint.  Also file a motion for summary judgment.  A motion for summary judgment means that the opposing party cannot prevail in the case because there are no triable issues since the title on the mobile home had been filed. 

If you cannot afford an attorney, a paralegal could prepare these documents for you and you could represent yourself at the hearing.


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