Caroline Secor PA

Foreclosure Lawyer Temple Terrace

The Importance of Taking Action on your Foreclosure

The importance of taking action when you have been served with a foreclosure lawsuit cannot be overstated. A foreclosure action is a legal process that begins with the filing of a complaint and the issuance of a summons. Once the clerk has issued a summons and you have been served with the foreclosure complaint, the clock starts ticking. The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure require that a response be filed within 20 days from the date that the summons and complaint are served on you. Ignoring this deadline can be catastrophic for you case and have ramifications that you may not be aware of.

First and foremost, there are a number of legal consequences associated with failing to take action within twenty days. The most immediate being entry of a default. While it is common practice that a “clerk’s default” will only be triggered by the filing of a motion for default by the plaintiff, a default can be entered by the clerk on its own without any action on the part of the plaintiff. Once a default has been entered, whether by the clerk of court or as a result of an order by the judge, you will no longer be able to pursue potential defenses unless and until you move the court to vacate the default.

Once a default is obtained, the plaintiff can then move the court for entry of a final judgment after default. At hearing on a motion for entry of final judgment after default, the court will review the legal documents submitted to the court and, if they are legally sufficient on their face, will likely enter a final judgment in favor of the plaintiff. At this point, the next steps involve a judicial sale of your home and the possibility that a deficiency judgment is entered against you for any amount still owed to the bank that is not covered by the sale of the property.

If you have been sued and are facing a foreclosure action, it is imperative that you do not ignore the situation and seek the advice of an experienced attorney. Even if you have missed the 20 day deadline to respond and a default has been entered, it is not too late. Provided you act quickly to set aside the default, there is a good chance that the judge will allow the case to proceed because Florida has a strong public policy of allowing cases to proceed on the merits. Regardless of the situation you are facing, it is important to take action quickly. If you need more time to find an attorney, it is better to file a motion requesting an extension of time in which to respond to the foreclosure complaint. It shows the court that you are taking the situation seriously and, once some kind of response, even if a simple request for more time is on file, it becomes highly unlikely that the clerk will enter a default.

If you have been served with a foreclosure complaint, you should take action right away by consulting with a qualified foreclosure defense attorney who can explain the legal process and analyze your potential defenses. The longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that you will lose your home.

Call today for a free consultation.

Carolyn Secor


The federal government passed new bankruptcy reform legislation in October 2005. However, don't be discouraged! Most studies indicate that the new law affects less than 15% of individuals who could have filed previously. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debts and considering filing bankruptcy, it is highly probable that you fall into the category of the 85 percent of people who are still eligible to file.




"Serving Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties."

Carolyn Secor, Attorney at Law
Bankruptcy Attorney Tampa Bay Florida
Florida Law Firm with Offices in
Clearwater (Main Office) Tampa St. Petersburg Port Richey
Phone:  1-727-254-1704

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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