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OK. So lets start from the beginning.
You have just been served with a lawsuit?
OK. And the lawsuit is for the foreclosure of a lien? Has there been a judgment that has been entered against you?
What was the judgment for?
Next question. Do you still own your mothers house, or have you deeded it over to her?
Here is some general advice I found for filing an answer pro se:
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF ________ COUNTY, ARKANSAS___________ DIVISION
JANE DOE PLAINTIFF
VS. NO: __________
JOHN DOE DEFENDANT
2) You should then read each allegation or numbered paragraph carefully to determine whether you will need to admit or deny the allegations, or whether you have insufficient knowledge to admit or deny the allegations contained in that specific paragraph. Your response to the allegation should be simply stated. An example of an Answer is attached which will show you have to word your responses.
3) It is always best to add an additional numbered paragraph that states a general denial of allegations that are not specifically admitted. Please refer to paragraph number 3 of the example Answer.
4) Your Answer may also contain affirmative defenses. If you wish to allege any affirmative defenses, they should be stated next. Please refer to paragraph 4 of the attached sample Answer for proper wording.
5) Your Answer should also reserve your rights to later object to jurisdiction, venue, sufficiency of process, sufficiency of process, sufficiency of service, failure to state facts upon which relief can be granted or failure to join a party after filing your Answer. Rule 12(b)(h).
6) The closing paragraph of your Answer is a summary of the relief that you are requesting and generally begins with the word WHEREFORE. You may use the wording in the example Answer for your closing paragraph.
7) Review your Answer, comparing each numbered response with the numbered paragraphs of the Complaint to ensure that you answered each allegation in the Complaint. If all allegations have been answered, you should sign your Answer and state your full mailing address and telephone number.
8) You should prepare a Certificate of Mailing or Certificate of Service at the bottom of your Answer. This certificate is a statement that you have mailed a copy of your Answer to the Plaintiff’s attorney or to the Plaintiff if he/she is not represented by an attorney. You may use the wording of the Certificate of Service on the attached example. You should be sure to sign and date the Certificate of Service.
FILING A PRO SE ANSWER
The Answer that you have prepared must be filed with the Clerk of the Court within the time period specified on the Summons. The Clerk’s address should also be located on the Summons. If you live in the town that the county courthouse is in, it is best that you take your Answer to the Court Clerk’s office to be filed personally.
If you do not live in the town that the county courthouse is in, you may mail your Answer to the Court Clerk; however, you should be sure to mail the Answer early enough that it will be received in the Clerk’s office and filed before your time limitation has expired.
FORM EXAMPLE -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Place caption of the case here]ANSWER
Comes the Defendant, [insert named Defendant here], and for [his, her, its] answer to the Complaint filed herein against [him, her, it] states as follows:
[Rule 8 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure requires that any response to the complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim or third part claim must set forth any and all affirmative defenses or matters constituting an avoidance. The Rule specifically mentions the following as affirmative defenses: accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, comparative fault, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppels, exclusiveness of remedy under worker’s compensation, lack or failure of consideration, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, set-off, the statue of frauds, the statute of limitations, and waiver. Other obvious affirmative defenses would include such property rules as the Rule Against Perpetuities. Do not simply say “estoppels” or “laches”, etc., however. State the facts, which amount to laches or estoppels.]
WHEREFORE, Defendant prays that the Complaint filed herein against [him, her, it] be dismissed; for [his/her] costs herein expended; and for any and all other just and proper relief.
____________________________, Pro Se[Print or type your name here andSign your name on the line above][Type or print your complete mailingAddress and your phone number]
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that I have this ____ day of _______________, 20___, served [insert name and address of Plaintiff’s attorney or Plaintiff if not represent by an attorney] with the foregoing Answer by placing same in the U. S. Mail with sufficient postage attached.
_____________________________[Sign your name on above line]
This gives you the general answer format that you will need to follow.
The problem you have is that there is a judgment already out there and that you are now being cited to show cause why the judgment should not execute on your mother's house and the lien foreclosed upon.
You would need to file a denial to each of the allegations stated in the complaint. That would give you some time.
So, lets talk about the house your mother lives in.
Do you still have the deed in your name?
Are you currently living in the house? Can you claim it as a homestead?
You are in a pickle. The judgment creditor (the party foreclosing on the lien) has a right to satisfy their judgment in any way they see fit.
Have you contacted them and see if they are willing to enter into a payment plan rather than going through a foreclosure?
You can ask, but they don't have to grant it to you.
I'd advise you to file an answer denying every allegation they make in their complain separately.
They can force the sale to get $2,225, then you get to keep the remainder after the sale.
However, sales of houses on judicial auctions will often go for way less than they are worth.
Just file an answer and try to get ahold of them ASAP and make them some sort of substantial offer. If the judgment is only for $2,225, you might need to see if you can come up with the money to get them off your back...or at least come up with a plan to pay them off in a few months.
If you offer that too them, they may agree to stall on the foreclosure.
A lis pendens is a way to keep you from selling the house.
Contact the attorney and make an offer.
That is your best bet right now.
Yes. Ask for that when you talk to the attorney. Is it not stated clearly in the petition you received?
Also, deny that the amount stated in the petition is correct.
When you file your answer.
So they are also asserting interest for the unpaid amount, which they are likely entitled to under the judgment.
Deny the amount is correct in your Answer.
Deny that they are the correct party.
Deny that the house is subject to foreclosure.
That should be enough to hold your space for some time to bargain
Call the opposing attorney and start trying to negotiate.
You are correct...that is why they filed it now.
They see you no longer have a homestead protection on it.
Also in your answer, state that you are not the sole owner of the property and thus it cannot be foreclosed upon.
They have the judgment. That's all they needed.
Sounds like we've come up with a plan of attack then.
Is there anything else I can tell you?
Just like the form above shows you
You are welcome. Good luck with this matter. If you are satisfied with my work, please click "accept" so I may receive credit. Thanks - Zachary D. Norris
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