Q&A: Step-by-step guide to foreclosure

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Nov. 29, 2011 – Question: I read in the paper that the banks are starting the foreclosures again. I just got served with a foreclosure lawsuit. Can you explain the process in layman’s terms?

Tony

Answer: Each state has different versions of the foreclosure process. In Florida and some other states, a lender must get permission from a judge before it can repossess your home.

When you are served with a foreclosure lawsuit, your lender files a “complaint” against you, laying out the facts as it sees it. It’s basically telling a story as to why it thinks that it should get your house as payment toward the debt that you owe.

Along with the complaint, it serves several other documents, such as the “summons,” which gives the court power over you, and the “lis pendens,” which is a document filed in the public records to let everyone know that the property is the subject of a lawsuit.

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