Face the Music – Process Servers & Local Band OE-2-KB

There is no good time to be served a lawsuit, but some moments are better than others.  You do not want to be out on a date, listening to a local band and receive service of process.  The best time to face the music starts when the process server first appears. Service of Process is personal delivery of notice that a lawsuit is filed against you, and an invitation for you to respond.  It is the court’s way of gaining jurisdiction over a matter and making sure that everyone involved is informed. While it may not be good news for you, it is better than no news.  Nobody wants a surprise lawsuit with no chance at defense.  Furthermore, the faster you address the issue, the sooner it can start to be resolved. If you owe money, probably you know it is coming.  You can control the scene by accepting Service of Process at your door, instead of at a time and place inconvenient to your schedule and dignity.  The sooner you face the music, the sooner the song can be played out, and you can avoid an awkward encounter elsewhere. For a fun way to face the music, come see […] Read More

Social Media & Service of Process

FaceBook, Twitter, and your LinkedIn account—these are the latest tools for Process Servers to know where you are and when.  Let us say you have not made a mortgage payment in a long time.  You get restless hiding in the dark, listening to that guy in a suit knocking on the door, so you slip out the back and head down to the gym for a little workout.  Post it on your FaceBook page so your friends can join you, and next thing you know, the guy in the suit is there too…but not to work out. Service of Process is personal delivery of notice that a lawsuit is filed against you, and an invitation for you to answer.  At a time when doctors no longer make house calls, lawyers have legal documents hand-delivered via sheriff’s deputies or authorized Process Servers. A Process Server is there to deliver a notice so you may be informed of legal actions against you.  The better informed you are, the better able you are to act.  There is no good time to receive a lawsuit, but hiding from a Process Server is a poor defense.  (Process Servers are creative people and tech-savvy to use […] Read More

The Troll & the Process Server

Once upon a time there was a Troll who lived under a bridge hiding from the Process Server.  The Troll owned a fine house up on the hill, but he had not made a mortgage payment in a while, and instead of facing his financial troubles, he hid under this bridge knowing he was a goner and hoping that the Process Server would never find him. One day a small goat passed over the bridge.  The greedy Troll rushed out and said:  ‘Halt!  This is a Troll bridge and you must pay the Troll!’ ‘Relax, Troll,’ said the goat, ‘I am the littlest of the Billy Goats Gruff.  My brother will be along soon who is bigger than I, and he will pay a much larger sum than I could give you.’ This kind of made sense to the Troll, so he let the little goat pass.  When the next goat came along, he ran out again, but the second goat declared that he was only the middle-sized goat and that the Troll should wait for his much bigger brother who could pay a much bigger sum.  So the Troll let the middle-sized goat pass. The Troll very anxiously waited […] Read More

Homesick: Stage 4 Foreclosure

The timeline of the foreclosure process looks like a snaggletooth comb, the tines varying in length with a laundry list of processes and sub processes that occur for each stage.  Stage 4 is usually where it gets interesting for the homeowner:  Defendant Served. If you are that homeowner, you have probably suffered poor fiscal fitness before a process server shows up at your door with a foreclosure lawsuit.  You have had months to miss payments, receive notice of missed payments, receive an Acceleration Notice, and had partial payments refused by your lender.  By Stage 4, you should know what is coming. At Stage 4 foreclosure, it is time to live like you are going to live another day—even if it is at a different address—and find out what your legal options are.  You only have 20 calendar days once you receive the foreclosure summons to respond…make it a good response.  Seek competent legal counsel (if you have not already) to direct your further foreclosure stage appearances toward the best possible outcome. Read More

10 Fun Facts About Foreclosure

1. Your mother-in-law cannot come over if you do not have a house. 2. “Lis pendens” is a pretty way to say financial oops. 3. The neighbor’s barking dog does not have to move with you. 4. Short sales take longer than the name implies. 5. Your financial freedom is linked to your credit score. 6. Your shoe size could be greater than your credit score after foreclosure. 7. You cannot file bankruptcy annually the way you do federal tax. 8. You do not have to make big decisions about purchases any time soon. 9. The Loch Ness Monster is easier to spot than a loan modification. 10. A process server is not going to sell you make-up. For most homeowners, there is nothing “fun” about foreclosure.  A short sale is not all smiles, and you are not going to find an LOL loan modification.  If you cannot see the bright side, look to the legal side.  Seek competent legal counsel to learn what choices may be available to you. Read More

Meantime of Foreclosure

Good things come to those who wait…but it depends on the circumstances.  You could be waiting for paperwork on a permanent loan modification and get a foreclosure lawsuit in the meantime.  You could be waiting on a pizza and get a process server instead. Often it is good to have a plan while you wait for foreclosure eviction.  It gives you something to do and you may come out better in the end.  What have you got to lose?  Foreclosure eviction runs about 135 days in Florida right now according to Realty Trac.  You may be able to use those weeks and months to your advantage. Not all foreclosure cases end in foreclosure.  What you do in the meantime could change the outcome…in your favor.  If you can beat the legal procedure to a short sale or other alternative, you could be better off financially, with less loss of credit. Here’s the catch:  The legal department and the lending department do not talk.  The legal procedure marches on despite your proactive efforts to come up with a better deal.  While you may be in positive negotiations with the lending side, the legal side may trump your headway with actions against […] Read More

Legal Problems Big & Little

Forty-four cents is not a bad deal.  If you can solve a problem with a postage stamp, that is a lot less expensive than delivery by Process Server. Sometimes that is all it takes—something simple like a letter or just to have an attorney show up—to stop the necessity for further action.  If you start with the simple attempts you may be able to avoid the more complicated (and expensive) tries. In some legal problems, the earlier you address the matter properly, the more choices you have available to you.  Often the longer you wait, the larger the problem becomes, the fewer options you have to resolve it, and the more it is going to cost you.  If you seek legal counsel early on, you may be able to aim towards a better case scenario (rather than the most expensive outcome). A letter is a lot cheaper than a lawsuit.  You may want to talk to an attorney to try to “stamp out” a problem before it becomes part of a legal procedure. Read More

20 Days of Foreclosure Summons

Eight Days of Chanukah, Twelve Days of Christmas, Seven Days of Kwanzaa, and you have 20 Days to respond to a Foreclosure Summons.  Regardless of how many shopping days you have left, if you received a Court Summons, the clock is ticking.  It ticks over holidays and weekends. A Foreclosure Defense can give you more shopping days to find a resolution that is right for you.  You do not buy the first pair of jeans you put your hands on any more than one-size-fits-all in Foreclosure Defense.  Foreclosure lawsuits come with deadlines, and the more deadlines you meet properly, the more choices you have open, the closer the fit for an outcome tailored to your situation. On the First Day of Christmas a Process Server gave to me:  a Foreclosure Suit with a Court Summons…you only have 20 days from there to respond.  Time is a side-effect of Foreclosure Defense.  The purpose of a legal defense is not to delay the inevitable, but to allow an alternative strategy to go through, like a Short Sale or Loan Modification. Accept Service of Process, and start the clock towards resolution.  Seek competent legal counsel to guide you through the process and help […] Read More

Trick Or Treat

If I could predict the outcome of trials, then I would quit being a lawyer and go play Lotto.  While no one cannot forecast what is going to happen in a home foreclosure case, a legal defense gives you possible outcomes, and alternative routes to pursue. You can dress up in a scary costume, but chances are, you are not going to frighten off the process server.  If your house is haunted by foreclosure, the best you can do is seek the optimal benefit for you and your family. There are no free houses. Foreclosure defense is not about “winning” your case, but mitigating your loss.  Sometimes there are no solutions.  Sometimes “solutions” do not work.  The same argument that works in one courtroom, may not affect the same outcome in front of a different judge. Foreclosure defense, however, gives you the knowledge to make informed decisions about your financial future.  Though you cannot predict what is going to happen in a legal procedure, you know what the possibilities are, and the options you have to handle them. Have a Safe and Happy Halloween! Read More