Homeowner
Attorney
What stage of the process are your wondering about?

➣ Before a lawsuit has begun
➣ Answering the Summons and complaint
➣ Settlement Conference/Modification Process
➣ Motion Practice
➣ Foreclosure Auction

Before a Lawsuit Has Begun
If you are behind on your mortgage payments, or in danger of falling behind, you should meet with a housing counselor to review your financial circumstances. The best solution will vary by household based on your income, the amount and type of debt you have, and other life circumstances. You will receive a notice from the bank that if you do not get back on track within 90 days of missing a payment, they will begin a foreclosure lawsuit against you. It is best to negotiate the matter before the missed payments and associated fees build up to an unaffordable level.
Answering the Summons and Complaint
A lawsuit starts with the filing of a Summons and Complaint. Filing means to bring the original copy to the County Clerk's office. It will appear as a thick stack of legal papers, and may have a cover page that looks like the following attachment. The Court makes sure the bank is doing what is required of them in order to eventually sell the house at an auction. It is extremely important to respond to this quickly, in order to preserve your rights and reasons in case the bank does not approve you for any options to keep the house. To respond, you must file a document known as an Answer with the County Clerk and send a copy to the bank’s law firm. Failure to respond on time could prevent you from making arguments to the Court in the future, this could allow the bank to go through the process much more quickly. The bank’s law firm can agree to give you more time to prepare this document upon request. If the Court only hears one side of the story, it is much more difficult for it to protect your interests. If you have missed your time to Answer, you can still file a Late Answer, and there is free help to accomplish this .
Settlement Conference/Modification Process
After the Summons and Complaint is filed and you have filed your response, the lawsuit is put on pause. During this pause, the bank cannot move the case forward toward an auction. Instead, the Court invites both parties to a settlement conference. At these conferences, the Court simply wishes to monitor the process of trying to get back on track to make sure everyone is doing what is asked of them in a timely fashion. The Court will Order you to send documents directly to the law firm rather than the servicer and will create deadlines for you and the bank to communicate with one another, click here for conference Order. These conferences are usually limited to attempts to keep the house, and the bank is not allowed to move forward with the case unless they can show that you failed to qualify for any options to keep the house, or that you have failed to cooperate with their requests for documents. It is best to work with a free housing counselor to ensure proper communication and preparation of required documents.

Free mortgage foreclosure clinics are held twice a month at the Nassau County Bar Association. Volunteer attorneys provide one-on-one guidance, advice and direction to any Nassau County homeowner who is concerned about foreclosure matters or is already in the foreclosure process involving property in Nassau County. You can have any and all your questions answered.

When homeowners are attending court settlement conferences, or visiting the free mortgage foreclosure clinic, download and fill out the intake form to ensure speedy process at the meetings.

Motion Practice
The next step after the settlement conference process will be motions. Motions look a lot like the Summons and Complaint, but you will see the words “notice of motion” where you saw the word “summons” on the Summons and Complaint. Motions are essentially legal arguments that the bank makes to show the Court why they should be allowed to foreclose on the home. If you receive a motion, you have a limited amount of time to respond, making it important to contact an attorney immediately.

 

-Adjourning motions - If you need more time to respond, the bank’s lawyer can agree to give you a few extra weeks. Call the bank’s law firm, describe why you need more time, and count out the new deadline based on how many extra weeks they are willing to give you. Fill out this form and send it to the bank’s law firm for them to sign. Once they send it back with their signature, this must be filed with the County Clerk’s Office so they are aware that you have been given extra time.

Foreclosure Auction
If the Court has set a date to sell your property at a foreclosure auction, you should seek help immediately. You may be able to delay the sale by filing a last minute request Order to Show Cause, however, at this point options will be limited because the bank has done everything that was required of them to show the Court that they may sell the house.
DISCLAIMER:
This site is provided for general informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and is not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel. Persons requiring legal advice should retain a properly licensed lawyer. No attorney-client relationship will be formed based on use of this site and any comments or posts to this site will not be privileged or confidential.

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