The Response To Being Served With A Summons And Complaint: The “Answer” – Part I

foreclosure defense lawyerWhen homeowners are served with a Summons and Complaint they must file a response to that Summons and Complaint. The response is referred to as an “ANSWER”. There are very specific and detailed requirements as to what should be contained in the Answer submitted by the homeowners.

To start with, the Answer should include a response to each and every numbered paragraph and claim made by the financial institution in its Complaint. The paragraphs in the homeowners’ Answer should be numbered. The numbered paragraphs in the homeowners’ Answer should respond to the numbered paragraphs in the financial institution’s Complaint. The homeowner can either admit the allegations, deny the allegations, or deny knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the allegation contained in the numbered paragraph of the financial institution’s Complaint.

The attorneys for the financial institution must prove all of the allegations in their Complaint which are either denied or which the homeowner denies knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truthfulness of the allegation contained in that paragraph. The paragraphs which are either admitted or not denied by the Answer of the homeowner are deemed admitted and the bank will not have to prove the truthfulness of those allegations at the time of trial.

Affirmative Defenses

In addition to either admitting, denying, or denying knowledge or information about the allegations in the specific paragraphs of plaintiff’s Complaint, the homeowners can assert affirmative defenses in their Answer with regard to the foreclosure lawsuit. An affirmative defense is basically a legal argument as to why the bank should not be allowed to be successful in prosecuting the lawsuit. Examples of affirmative defenses can deal with the fact the mortgage is actually current, and not overdo; that documents were signed by robo-signers; the homeowner was fraudulently induced into taking the loan; the financial institution violated Federal Truth in Lending Laws, New York State banking laws or Federal banking laws, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; predatory lending issues; bad assignments; lack of standing to bring the lawsuit; failure to serve a 90 day notice; failure to adhere to all types of procedural foreclosure requirements and many, many other affirmative defenses.

The Answer to the bank’s Complaint must be sworn to by the homeowners and acknowledged before a Notary Public. Thereafter a copy of it must be served on the attorney for the bank. The homeowners must file a copy of the Answer with the court and the bank’s lawyers. The Answer must have attached to it an Affidavit of Service of the Answer on the bank’s attorneys.New York foreclosure defense attorney

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