If you do not make your mortgage payments on time, then your house can be put into foreclosure. When this happens, a mortgage lender will ask the court if they can begin the foreclosure process to sell your house and pay off your debt. You will know when this begins because you will receive a Summons and Complaint that details the case. 

To keep your home, create an Answer for the court to review. In the Answer, explain your defenses and reasons for why you should keep your house. Writing an Answer can be tricky, but you can use this free and confidential online program to help. The program will walk you step-by-step through the paperwork and explain helpful defenses. If you cannot access it through a computer, print the paper forms and fill them out by hand.

Complete your Answer as soon as possible. If the Summons was delivered to you personally, you only have 20 days to complete it. If it was given to you in any other way, you have 30 days. If you do not give an Answer to the court within this time, you can lose the case. Without an Answer from you, the judge makes a default judgment in favor of your mortgage lender. This could speed up the foreclosure process and result in the loss of your home.

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Last Reviewed: February 22, 2024