Foreclosure Case Management Conferences

Initial foreclosure Case Management Conferences in Duval County are now mandated by the courts creating an opportunity for the banks to expedite foreclosure proceedings to final judgment and take your home quickly. The Duval County foreclosure courts recently invoked a policy requiring and setting a Case Management Conferences (CMC) within a few months of a foreclosure case being filed. The stated purpose of this conference is to get the homeowners who want to save their homes together, face to face, with the bank’s representative, typically a lawyer handling numerous cases that day, to determine the homeowner’s intent with regard to the foreclosure and to see if it is possible to save the home. While this new procedure means well, it can have unintended negative consequences to the homeowners if they do not act timely and assert their rights in foreclosure.

When a bank files a foreclosure proceedings they must first file a Complaint with the Clerk of Court claiming you owe it money on a note, are in default and that the court should sell your home and pay the bank back. The bank is required to serve its Complaint on you, the homeowner, and you then have 20 days to file a response. If they fail to respond within 20 days the bank will likely ask the Clerk of Court to issue a default, denying you certain defenses in the case and the right to receive notice of future proceeding. Following default banks are now quickly filing motions seeking summary judgment and using the Case Management Conference mandated by the court to rush the matter to final judgment. This is bad for homeowners and you must act quickly to avoid the expedited sale of your home in foreclosure.

When a homeowner is in default the mandatory Case Management Conference (CMC) offers the bank a perfect opportunity to call its Motion for Summary Judgment for hearing to be heard at the conference. If the homeowner has defaulted and does not appear at the CMC, the court will likely grant summary judgment against the homeowner and set a foreclosure sale within 60 days of serving its Complaint. This is lightning speed to final judgment and the judicial sale of your home compared to how foreclosure proceedings have been handled in the past.

As a general rule, foreclosure attorneys for large banks handle hundreds of cases and, in the past, would often not move for summary judgment or set a final hearing for many months or even years after a foreclosure was filed. The court ordered foreclosure Case Management Conferences in Duval County require the bank’s attorney to appear in court far earlier than ever before and they are taking advantage of this by asking judgment to set foreclosure judicial sales faster than ever.    To avoid the bank taking advantage of the court’s ordered Case Management Conference, and to avoid a quick sale of your home, you must answer a foreclosure Complaint within 20 days of service, even if the case is set for CMC. You or your attorney must also appear at the Case Management Conference and it is also recommended that you serve discovery on the bank in the form of Requests to Produce, Interrogatories or Requests for Admissions when you answer the Complaint.

If you have any questions regarding foreclosure defense or any other debt relief matters please contact Jacksonville’s debt relief lawyer, Matthew C. Bothwell, Esq. We are here to help.