In nearly all cases of foreclosure, when the bank files its initial lawsuit, the homeowners have a chance to respond to the complaint and file their own answer. The problem is that, while mortgage companies hire local lawyers, the owners of the house may have little idea of how to go about filing an answer. While this is an extremely variable topic, with local, county, and state rules all coming into play, a small introduction may help homeowners find the confidence to take on the bank in court.
First of all, though, any specific contents that can be put into the answer should probably be discussed with an attorney to make sure the language is accurate and all court rules are followed, or homeowners can research these issues on their own. Every foreclosure case is a little different and individual circumstances can be addressed specifically in the homeowners’ answer.
In terms of just filing the answer in the correct manner, homeowners should take a look at how the original foreclosure complaint is structured. The bank must send them a copy of the complaint (usually served by the county sheriff or sent Certified Mail). The case number and caption (Bank vs. You), and all of the “}” marks should be included in the foreclosure victims’ answer to make sure they are using the proper form. Judges will throw out their answer if it is not formatted correctly and does not include all of the proper information.
Procedure and silly rules come before justice and the right to a fair and meaningful hearing, so homeowners need to read up a little on their local rules of procedure, as well as the state rules of procedure. They can usually just do an online search and find the rules; e.g., Michigan rules of court procedure, Cook County rules of court procedure. Those should inform the defendants of any other silly rules they will need to be aware of, such as if the defendant’s answer has to be printed on blue paper or other such nonsense designed to make nonlawyers lose their cases on technical matters.
Once they have the answer formatted correctly and the content is to their liking, the next step for the homeowners is to file the paperwork with the county clerk of courts. There are two ways to do this: by mail or in person. In most counties, they can simply mail in the answer to the county courthouse and the clerk’s office will file it with the appropriate court case. Otherwise, homeowners can go to the courthouse and ask for the clerk’s office. Then they will need to ask to file their answer with the clerk. Also, most government employees have absolutely no familiarity with private individuals doing anything on their own, so homeowners may have to deal with mass confusion and incompetence at the courthouse before their paperwork is filed correctly. » Read more: When The Foreclosure Lawsuit Comes, How Do You File An Answer To The Bank’s Complaint?