A foreclosure is commenced by the filing of the Summons and Complaint with the clerk’s office. Ordinarily the foreclosure is filed in the State Supreme Court or sometimes the County Court. Very rarely, but increasingly, foreclosures are commenced in federal court. After the summons and complaint is filed, the defendant must be served with the complaint. Once you are served, you have only 20-30 days to answer. Mr. Cassar can answer the complaint for you in order to assert the best defenses for your case.
After the expiration of the time to answer, the case can go to settlement conferences if it is eligible. The eligibility requirements are set forth in statute (laws). If you retain Mr. Cassar, he will ensure that you get a conference if you are eligible. He will also appear for you and assist you in applying for a modification. The settlement conferences are important because they force the bank to review the borrower under all applicable loss mitigation programs.
If the case is settled, then the foreclosure goes away. If not, then the lender proceeds to make its first motion. If the defendant has not answered, the bank makes a motion for default judgment. This meaning that the bank asks the Court to enter judgment automatically because the defendant is not contesting it. If you want to avoid this, then you have to have answered the complaint.
If the defendant has answered, however, the lender must prove that the defenses raised have no merit. This is called a motion for summary judgment. Mr. Cassar is highly experienced in defenses against foreclosures. These defenses can stop the bank from moving forward while it attempts to prove its case. If the defenses are successful, the case could even get dismissed. Cases are not often dismissed, but fighting the foreclosure can substantially slow the bank down, providing you with valuable time.
If the bank wins its first motion, then the Court assigns a “referee” to calculate how much is due on the mortgage. After that, the referee makes his or her report, and the bank has to make another motion to have the Court confirm the referee’s report of the amount due. Once that motion is granted, a referee is then assigned to hold a foreclosure auction. The bank must notice the auction by publishing it in a newspaper for several weeks. Finally, an auction is held and the property is sold to the highest bidder.
As long as the property has not been sold, you may still have time to save your home. However, you must move quickly!Hiring an experienced attorney can be critical to saving your home. Mr. Cassar knows what strategies to employ at each of these described stages in order to slow down or stop the bank. During that time, he will assist you in pursuing every possible strategy to save the home, if that is what is desired. Finally, if the home cannot be saved, he will assist you in arriving at the best exit strategy.