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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
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I found a note taped to my apartment door last night by a Deputy

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I found a note taped to my apartment door last night by a Deputy Sheriff from Civil Devision re: Civil Summons/Notice of Foreclosure. I knew this was coming sooner or later.
* I need to secure a lawyer in Florida that deals w Foreclosure issues (I now live in NC). How much time do I have before I must call and have the summons delivered to me?
*Can you tell me what steps usually happen once the summons is delivered to me?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and concern. In Florida, once served with the complaint, you will have 20 days to file an answer and raise any affirmative defenses which you may have. If you fail to file an answer, the plaintiff will likely proceed and have you defaulted by the clerk of court and then proceed to have a judgment entered against you. A sale date will then be set, where the home will be sold at auction. You do have every legal right to contest this and can find an attorney and read reviews about them on or You may also want to contact the Florida Bar, who has an attorney referral program set up as well. Unless you just want to walk away and do not care, retaining an attorney would be in your best interest. They can appear in court for you, file an answer and raise any defenses. They also may be able to request mediation in the matter, so you can be given a chance to save this home, if you wanted to and see if the lender would consider a modification. If you were to just file an answer or raise defenses without an merit, the plaintiff will proceed to summary judgment and ask that it be entered by the Judge, since there would be no genuine issue of material fact, to dispute a final judgment.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am grateful for your expertize...and kindness.

I am 70 yr. old, divorced after a 50 yr. relationship. My former husband asked for both houses in the settlement and I deeded them to him. I was not aware that my name would remain on the mortgage of the said house. It was purchased 'interest only.' He has not paid the mortgage for maybe 9 months now. He has already received a letter saying the bank will give him money to move out and give the house back to them.

I have multiple medical issues...much of my meager income goes for living, medical ins/bills. In case the bank would come after me I did not purchase a home after the divorce. I am renting, I have a 14 yr. old car and i rolled over all of my 50% of the financial retirement funds for investment. I don't know if the bank could take any of that.

It does appear that my lawyer missed the boat when she did not require him to immediately refinance and get my name taken off the mortgage...I was unaware of that. At this point I would just like to get out of this and get out of the ties to a person that is not a part of my life now. Do I have any say in how this is handled? Since the house was deeded to him... would I have any right to half of any buy out the bank might offer him to take leave of the house? The second house he received in the divorce settlement is paid for and protected from the foreclosure as far as I know. Anna...

I apologize: I was referring to my divorce lawyer at the time of the divorce...which I am no longer in touch with.

Sorry for the delay. I am having issues with my computer. As soon as they are resolved I will respond. Thank you for understanding
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX understand .. Anna

Thank you for the additional information. Since you are on the note, the bank needs to name you in the foreclosure action. In a situation like this, their main concern is likely getting the subject property back, as quickly as possible. You can contact the attorney for the plaintiff/lender and see if they would agree to a consent judgment against you, whereby you agree to the judgment and allow them to foreclosure and they agree to not go after you for any deficiency. Since you are not living in the home, the keys for cash deal and/or deed in lieu of foreclosure offer which they are making him, since he is on title, would not likely be something you are entitled to, since you gave away your legal interest, when you signed over title to him.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you so much...this helps me make a few decisions w a lawyer to help me. I would like to leave a bonus after this reply.

Sure, is there anything else you would like to know or need my to clarify?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes. If the bank does come after me re: the foreclosure...would they be able to take any of my assets that I received 50%(divorce settlement) of all retirement account, IRA accounts that I rolled over to Fidelity Investment?

I also an IRA in stock not in the same company.

Is that safe? I have no credit card debt as I pay it each month.

Also, if my former spouse takes the small pay out and gives the house back...will my name come off the mortgage too...and I will no longer be liable for it?

If they wanted to try and come after you in NC for the Florida judgment, they would have to serve you with two pieces of paper – one is a “Notice of Rights to Have Exemptions Designated” and the other is a “Motion to Claim Exempt Property. When you receive the motion to claim exempt property, you have 20 days to fill it out and return it to the court. Retirement benefits, like IRAs and other ERISA qualified benefits may be exempt and protected, thus not allowing the plaintiff to enforce the judgment against you and go after them. Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits or any other federal benefit is also exempt. Once the exemptions are filed with the court and sent to the creditor or the creditor’s attorney, the creditor has 10 days to object and file objections. If objections are filed, the clerk will schedule a hearing. If it gets to that level, you certainly want to protect your interest at that time and retain legal counsel. If your husband were to give the house back via a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the lender will likely forgive the debt and allow you to walk away, not liable for it. Prior to this happening, the lender may require you to agree to it, since you are on the note and if they do, make sure they can not go after you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I cannot thank you enough for your expert help...I will be able to understand what is going on now...I had no idea what I am dealing with. You have a gift of explaining legal matters so I could understand. I wish you God's best. Chaplain Anna

You are very welcome. Let me just add one thing. While I am sure that you do not want to have anything to do with your ex husband, this may be a situation where you need to speak with him and see if he will be reasonable. It is better for him to agree to the deed in lieu of foreclosure and turn the home over to the lender, instead of going through the foreclosure process and having it on your record. If he can get them to agree to take it back, waive their right to a deficiency and dismiss the foreclosure, it will help you in the long run, since a foreclosure will stay on your record for roughly 7 years, destroy your credit and subject you to possible liability for the amount which the sale does not cover.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you for this counsel... which leads me to ask you...

A friend who went through this situation suggested asking

the lawyer that will take my case to

have a MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION that can have the COURT force him to take the offer....thus, ending my liability for that house.

Do you have any thoughts on this?

In Florida, I have never heard of such a thing in a foreclosure action. The Judge can not force him to take the offer. It is something he has to want to agree to do. If he is in default, has no defenses and can not save the home, I am not sure why he would not be inclined to do this. You can try and request mediation and appear by phone since you live in NC and see if you, him, the attorney for the bank and the bank itself, can agree to a resolution to this.
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