Jury Duty – Good Duty

Jury duty is an opportunity for the Judicial Branch to showcase legal procedure to the public.  It is live, reality courtroom drama, and if you are selected to sit on a jury, then you have a reserved seat up front for the trial. Unless you are 80 years old, pregnant, and the governor or lieutenant governor, you could be asked to serve on a jury.  (Even if you are all those things, you still need to request to be excused.)  Eligibility requirements include:  US citizenship, at least 18 years old, Florida driver’s license or state identification, and a resident of Florida in the respective county. Do you get paid to be a juror?  It depends.  Your employment status and length of service as a juror help determine if and how much you may get paid.  You might not want to plan that trip to Acapulco based on juror compensation. A Jury Summons, like any court summons, is a formal invitation that requires your appropriate response.  You cannot just write “Our regrets” and return the summons—it is not a missive from Miss Manners!  You do not have to eat with the right fork, but you do need to make a proper […] Read More

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall – Awaiting Foreclosure

The average foreclosure process takes 749 days in Florida.  You can sing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” thousands of times while awaiting foreclosure eviction, but in the end, you will be homeless and very drunk.  Two years is a long time without a house payment.  You could sit back, relax, and spend all your money on beer…the problem is you come out the other side without a place to live and poor credit.  If you are facing foreclosure, you need a plan, and you may need a legal defense to give that plan a chance. Foreclosure defense does not work without a plan (you cannot launch a defense just to postpone the inevitable); however, a plan sometimes does not work without a legal defense. There are good people doing the right thing.  They are trying to work with their lender to set up a loan modification or a short sale.  These homeowners have a mortgage balance they cannot afford to pay in full, so they are trying to negotiate a monthly payment or a sale price to give the lender some income on the property.  These negotiations take time…and often the lender’s attorney is faster than the loan […] Read More

What Moves You?

To move?  Or not to move?  That is the question of a homeowner facing foreclosure.  While it may take months before a foreclosure eviction is imminent, a court summons is no time for a Hamlet moment.  So you got served a foreclosure summons…now what?  Now would be a good time to find a foreclosure defense lawyer if you have not already.  You only have 20 days to answer that summons, and it needs to be answered properly, not just with your best penmanship. Just because you receive a foreclosure summons does not mean you have to pack up and leave immediately.  This is not Georgia.  The laws in Florida generally give the homeowner a lot more time to work out something with the lender (like a modification or a short sale), especially through a foreclosure defense. So you have not suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  The thing to do now is to find the best benefit for your situation.  Your lender will move you if you ponder too long, but with a foreclosure defense you have greater opportunity to examine your circumstances and your options.  With a foreclosure defense, you have more control over what moves you. Read More