Deny. Deny? Deny!

Posted by AFDA - March 20, 2012 - For Home Owners - No Comments
Deny

You are being sued by your lender for not making your mortgage payments. Welcome to foreclosure court!

Should you be like the other more than 90% of people in your circumstances and do nothing? Just ignore the lawsuit and lose your home through a default judgment (i.e., you lose because you never showed up in court)?

Most certainly not! You’ll at least go to the court hearing; see what you can find out. You are not a bad person. Either you have fallen on bad times or you just over-paid (like the rest of us). In either case, letting the property go is a good business decision. You have nothing to be ashamed of, I promise. Making the process last as long as possible is also a good business decision. SO… off to court you go, to see what you can show.

You are told that an “answer to the complaint” must be filed. Yikes! Diligently you stare at the paperwork. You see the form you received gives you three choices:

  1. admit
  2. deny
  3. insufficient information to either admit or deny.

You go to work reading each paragraph of the complaint. What language is it written in? Is that Latin? It might as well be French because it looks like Greek to anyone who’s not an attorney.

The correct answer is — it is written in “Legalese.” The language of attorneys and courts where the definition of a word or phrase changes from time to time depending on the types of cases in the appeals court. Good luck with that. Oh, and in foreclosure court, when you file your answer it is a “verified” document meaning you have to SWEAR that it is “true and correct.”

Here’s another secret that the free help desk failed to mention. This is the important part so take a deep breath and read slowly and carefully.

In most proceedings if the defendant (i.e., the person being sued) says they don’t have sufficient information to know if an allegation in the complaint is true or false the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) has to prove that it is true. That is NOT the case in a foreclosure lawsuit. A sneaky trick that somehow became the law #735 ILCS 5/15-1506(a)(1). (This combination of letters and number is the “cite” or the legal way attorneys can find the law itself to make sure what the writing attorney is saying is correct.)

This statute (i.e. law) states that unless an allegation is specifically denied it is deemed admitted. “What!” I can hear you gasping. “That can’t be right.” It’s not right, but it is the law – at least in Illinois it is.

So what do you do? Well, if you’re asking for my advice I’d tell you to take 2 aspirins and call me in the morning.

Karen S. Coffey, owner of Coffey at Law, LLC, concentrates her practice in the areas of real estate closings, estate planning, and FREST – (Foreclosure Representation to Extend Stay Time).

You can reach Karen at (773) 316-7619, kcoffey@coffeyatlaw.com, or Coffey at Law.