A Non-Jury Trial or Summary Judgment Notice in your Foreclosure case will require your immediate attention!
Generally, the only notice home owners will receive in a Florida foreclosure case about a pending non-jury trial or hearing on a motion for summary judgment (or any hearing, for that matter) will be either a “Notice of Non-Jury Trial” (and sometimes an order governing a pre-trial procedure) or a Notice of Hearing on Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment. These are typically the final hearing points of a given foreclosure case in Florida, with some exceptions (e.g., an order to show cause). If you have received one of these, either the notice of hearing on the Motion for Summary Judgment or a Notice of Non-Jury Trial, you are in a very serious situation. It is important to know that you are not required to receive this notice, and it may be set without respect to your schedlue. The bank may be entitled to judgment if you do not, or have not, properly defended your foreclosure case. It is important to note that if you choose to defend the case on your own, you will be held to the same standards as an attorney.
Is there a way to tell if my foreclosure case in Florida will be set for a Non-Jury Trial or a Summary Judgment Hearing?
Not always, but there may be some clues. One thing you can look for in the case of a non-jury trial in a foreclosure case is the filing of a notice for trial. Basically, this makes the court aware that someone in the lawsuit – whether it is the bank or another defendant – thinks your foreclosure case is ready to go to a non-jury trial. There are some very precise procedural matters that must be followed in filing the notice for trial (or notice that cause is at issue) and what the court does after receiving it. As for a Motion for Summary Judgment, a lot of the work done through that motion for a final judgment of foreclosure comes through the use of affidavit evidence. If you see a lot of affidavits being filed in your case, generally either the Motion has been filed or it will be soon.
I didn’t mitigate damages or defend my case, is it too late?
It may be. There are some new regulations that help in this type of situation for loss mitigation, but it comes down to the judge’s discretion. If you have not been defaulted in your foreclosure case, a judge should allow you to defend the case and even file an answer if you are coming up to a motion for summary judgment. If you filed a pro se answer, you may be entitled to an amendment to assert real defenses to the Foreclosure case. In terms of a trial, this may be a little bit more tricky. If you have been defaulted this puts the odds even more against you, as you have basically waived all of your rights to defend the case based on the facts. A default in a foreclosure case, or any civil case, admits all well plead facts. It does not admit conclusions of law. That being said, you can still object to evidence at trial. Generally, an attorney with a precise understanding what each document the bank is trying to admit into evidence, the proper way to do that under the statutes, and what each document means for the bank in proving their case could potentially give an attorney a victory even where there has been a default.