If you have been served with any legal documents about your mortgage, you need to speak with a foreclosure defense attorney immediately. Regardless of what the lender–or your friend–tells you, you need to speak with an attorney who can help you determine what you need to do to protect your legal rights.
Once you are served with a lawsuit, you only have 30 days to respond. In South Carolina, you’ll be served with a summons and complaint. There are several ways to respond, but the fact is that once you are served with the lawsuit the clock is ticking.
It is very important to respond to the lawsuit if you have any intention of keeping the property. Your legal rights will be affected if you do not respond to the lawsuit within the 30 days. If you don’t respond to the lawsuit, the lender will ask the court to hold you in default. Once you are in default, the lender will likely win the case and it becomes much harder to resolve the lawsuit. Once the default occurs, all the lender’s allegations are regarded as true by the court.
Many lenders tell South Carolina homeowners that they do not need to seek legal advice if a foreclosure sale date for the property has not been scheduled. This is not true. We have heard this from clients over and over again.
The lender is not your friend, and you should not take the lender’s advice. In South Carolina, your legal rights must be asserted long before you have a judgment against you and a sale date is scheduled. Once the court has entered a judgment of foreclosure against you, it’s extremely difficult for an attorney to do anything in the case to stop the foreclosure. There may be other options–like setting aside the judgment (which is extremely difficult), or chapter 13 bankruptcy–but it’s best to act quickly to preserve all your options.