How Do I Answer a Default Foreclosure Summons in Illinois?
A "default judgment" may be rendered against a party if it is the result of a party's failure to take a necessary step in the action within the proper time; this generally means a failure to plead or otherwise defend within the time allowed. Since, under rules of procedure, allegations not specifically denied are deemed admitted, failure to file a responsive pleading will generally result in the entry of a default judgment against the defendant. When a complaint is filed and the defendant fails to file an answer within the applicable time period, a default judgment may be entered against the defendant. In a divorce case, the property division and alimony requested in the complaint will typically be granted in a default divorce decree.
It is possible to file a motion to vacate a default judgment. You must have a good reason for not being able to attend the hearing, such as not being properly served or being ill. A supporting affidavit may be attached to the motion.
Generally, when you are served with a foreclosure summons, you must file an appearance and answer within 30 days of receiving the summons or the judge will order foreclosure against you. It is possible that the mortgage company can obtain a deficiency judgment against you as well, for the balance remaining on the loan.
An appearance lets the court know you are aware of the lawsuit and by filing the appearance, the court will notify you of future court dates. The answer addresses the allegations made in the complaint for foreclosure. You need to respond to each paragraph of the complaint. If you don't respond to the allegations in the paragraph, the court will assume you agree with it.
During the past decade, mortgages were sold and resold, bundled into securities and sold to investors. It is usually legal for a lender to assign a borrower's contract to another as long as the terms of the contract don't prohibit the assignment. However, it is common for mortgages to be sold or assigned to another company, and the borrower is not relieved of obligations for payments. etc. by the assignment.
In many cases, the original note signed by the homeowner was lost, stored away in a distant warehouse or destroyed. Persuading a judge to compel production of hard-to-find or nonexistent documents can, at the very least, delay foreclosure, buying the homeowner some time and increasing the pressure on the lender to renegotiate the mortgage. The original note is almost always electronically retained and can eventually be found.
Judges are often willing to accept electronic documentation. Lenders are sometimes allowed to produce other paperwork to establish they are the holder of a loan. There have been cases where the foreclosure action was thrown out because of a failure to produce the note, but it will be a matter of subjective determination for the court to decide if the foreclosure may proceed.
In foreclosure lawsuits, the debtor typically asks the court for three things, in the following order:
-a temporary restraining order (which lasts for a certain number of days, typically under 2 weeks)
-a preliminary injunction (will last until the court decides the case), and
-a permanent injunction (which will be granted if you win your case).
An answer is a legally sufficient response to the allegations that have been alleged against you in the complaint. The answer will generally either admit or deny each claim made by paragraph, or state an inability to admit or deny for lack of knowledge. Defenses may also be raised. Lack of funds and inability to pay is not considered a valid defense. A valid defense may include such excuses as identifying the incorrect borrowing party to the loan contract, or having made all payments on time, among others. The answer is an opportunity to show why the property shouldn't be foreclosed upon. Lack of funds and inability to pay is not considered a valid defense. A valid defense may include such excuses as identifying the incorrect borrowing party to the loan contract, or having made all payments on time, among others. The answer is an opportunity to show why the property shouldn't be foreclosed upon.
Types of Foreclosure.
The mortgage holder can usually initiate foreclosure anytime after a default on the mortgage. Within the United States, there exist several types of foreclosure. Two are widely used, with the rest being possibilities only in a few states.
The most important type of foreclosure is foreclosure by judicial sale. This is available in every state and is the required method in many. It involves the sale of the mortgaged property done under the supervision of a court, with the proceeds going first to satisfy the mortgage, and then to satisfy other lien holders, and finally to the mortgagor. Because it is a legal action, all the proper parties must be notified of the foreclosure, and there will be both pleadings and some sort of judicial decision, usually after a short trial.
The second type of foreclosure, foreclosure by power of sale, involves the sale of the property by the mortgage holder not through the supervision of a court. Where it is available, foreclosure by power of sale is generally a more expedient way of foreclosing on a property than foreclosure by judicial sale. The majority of states allow this method of foreclosure, inclusing New Hampshire. Again, proceeds from the sale go first to the mortgage holder, then to other lien holders, and finally to the mortgagor.
Other types of foreclosure are only available in limited places and are therefore considered minor methods of foreclosure. Strict foreclosure is one example. Under strict foreclosure, when a mortgagor defaults, a court orders the mortgagor to pay the mortgage within a certain period of time. If the mortgagor fails, the mortgage holder automatically gains title, with no obligation to sell the property. Strict foreclosure was the original method of foreclosure, but today it is only available in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Statutory redemption allows the mortgagor to redeem the mortgage even after foreclosure sale. About one-half the states have statutory redemption laws. Generally, these laws give anywhere from six months to a year for the mortgagor to redeem the mortgage by payment of the foreclosure sale price plus a statutory rate of interest to the sale purchaser. Junior lien holders also have a right to redeem under these statutes, in order of their priority, though not until the period for the mortgagor to redeem runs out. As a rule, the mortgagor can retain possession of their property during this statutory redemption period. New Hampshire has no post-sale statutory right of redemption for foreclosures, which would allow a party whose property has been foreclosed to reclaim that property.
Federal Laws Affecting Foreclosure:
At least two federal laws clearly apply to foreclosure actions.
The filing of any bankruptcy action automatically stays a foreclosure proceeding, regardless of type. At that point, whether the stay will be lifted depends on whether the mortgagor has equity in the mortgaged property. If the bankruptcy has been filed under a Chapter 11 petition, the bankruptcy court may "terminate, annul, modify or condition such stay" for cause, including the lack of adequate protection of an interest in property of the mortgage holder, or if the mortgagor does not have equity in the property and the property is not necessary for an effective reorganization.
If it has been filed as a straight bankruptcy petition, asking for discharge of all debts, the mortgage holder will be allowed to foreclose if the bankrupt debtor has no equity in the property. If there is equity in the property, the property can be sold by the bankruptcy court.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003, replacing the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act of 1940, gives special protection to mortgagors on active duty in the armed forces for mortgage loans executed prior to when they went into service. The Act provides that a service person can apply to a court to set aside a default judgment leading to a foreclosure action. Because of this provision, a mortgage holder initiating a foreclosure action against a mortgagor who fails to answer the foreclosure complaint must file an affidavit with the court stating the mortgagor is not on active duty in the armed services.
If the mortgagor is in the armed services, the individual must be present or represented at the foreclosure hearing, meaning foreclosure by power of sale is not available. If a court finds that the mortgagor's ability to meet the terms of the mortgage has been affected by their service in the armed forces, they can stay the foreclosure action as long as the person is in the service.