Many people wonder what they should do if they are served? Today I would like to address with you some simple solutions of what to do in the occasion that you are served with a summons and complaint.
In any case if you are served with a summons and complaint you must answer that lawsuit within 30 days. (Note some jurisdictions and types of actions require a shorter response time therefore read the Summons carefully for the applicable time in which a response is required) If you fail to answer the lawsuit within those 30 days you will be held in default. Default is where you automatically lose and the other party is awarded a judgment against you. When we use the word “answer” in the legal profession that is a term of art. An answer is a written document that you file with the clerk of court and you send to the opposing party admitting, denying or explaining allegations in the complaint.
Far too often, particularly with foreclosure cases, the defendants, homeowners, consumers, and borrowers are mislead in to not filing an answer. Many times, once served with a lawsuit the defendant contacts the Plaintiff or its attorney in an attempt to negotiate. Although genuine settlement or modification discussions may be occurring, you cannot ignore the lawsuit thinking that your communication directly with the lender or its lawyer is going to stall, delay, and save you from simultaneously defending the lawsuit. That is not the case! If you fail to answer the lawsuit you are going to automatically lose. It does not matter what communication you have with the lender. On one hand you have a lawyer foreclosing on your home and on the other hand you have the borrower who is receiving letters directly from the lender stating “Contact us, and help us save the foreclosure on your home!” Those letters are misleading – you must timely file an answer to the summons and complaint.
The best solution I can recommend if you get served with a summons and complaint, is that you contact a lawyer. A lot of attorneys in the Pee Dee area, just like our firm would be glad to provide a free initial consultation. In this free consultation we will be able to brief you on the matter and explain your rights. If you or someone you know is sued, be sure to seek legal representation as soon as possible to avoid being held in default for not timely responding to the lawsuit.