Representing Yourself In A Wrongful Foreclosure Case and Facing Summary Judgment?

Representing Yourself In A Wrongful Foreclosure Case and Facing Summary Judgment?

Representing Yourself In A Wrongful Foreclosure Case and Facing Summary Judgment?You have been foreclosed in Alabama and now you have been sued by the law firm of Sirote & Permutt or some similar firm in an “ejectment” lawsuit in a Circuit Court of Alabama.

Suddenly the mortgage company files a “Motion for Summary Judgment” telling the court that there are no material issues of fact in dispute and the law is clear that the mortgage company should win.

And by “win” we mean that you will be ordered out of your house and may owe damages to the mortgage company.

So what in the world is a motion for summary judgment?

A “motion” is simply a request to the court, in writing, that the court do something.

The motion should contain the reasons why the court should consider doing what is asked for in the motion.

A motion for summary judgment is a request that the judge “summarily” enter judgment now.

It says there is no reason to go further as there is no way the other side (you) can win.

There are no “factual disputes” that a jury must resolve (if you asked for a jury).

Normally an affidavit will be attached to the motion which supposedly gives the court the facts to base its decision on.

Finally the motion says the law is so clear that given the facts (the ones the mortgage company put in the motion) that the judge has to rule in the mortgage company’s favor.

Ok now I know what a summary judgment motion is — how do I fight it?

You must do several things to fight back:

  • Carefully read the motion and the evidence submitted and see if it is accurate, the facts are accurate, and whether the law is accurate;
  • Supply facts to the court in an admissible format (that complies with the rules of court) to show the court that a trial must take place to determine what the true facts actually are because there is a factual dispute on important facts; and
  • Show the court that under the law the mortgage company does not automatically win.

If you fail to do these things, it is very likely (almost certain actually) that you will lose.

You may think there was terrible fraud committed — you may feel the mortgage company violated state and federal law — but if you lose the summary judgment motion, then you will be kicked out of your house.

If you represent yourself, the court will not give you special treatment.  

You are acting as your own lawyer and you are expected to know all of the rules.

Same thing if you hire a brand new lawyer or a lawyer who has not been doing this type of work for many years.

The judge can’t give “breaks” to inexperienced lawyers.

And it can’t and won’t cut you any slack just because you are not a lawyer.

Is it too late to get a foreclosure defense lawyer to help me?

It depends.

I can only speak for my firm.

We have been hired at this stage before but it is unusual because you are in a deep hole if you have:

  • Been foreclosed
  • Been sued to be ejected
  • Mortgage company has filed for summary judgment

There may be time to fix the problems — to gather through discovery (such as deposition) the facts necessary to fight back.

Contact Us.

The expense is normally higher to hire us at this late stage than at the beginning.

However,  we have done this before.

So, if you live in Alabama and want to talk to us, give us a call at 205-879-2447.  Ask to speak to Randi our foreclosure paralegal.  When you chat with Randi she will gather the facts of your situation.  Then I’ll chat with Randi and we’ll decide if it makes sense for you and I to chat.  Give her a call at 205-879-2447 to get the process started.  

If you prefer to make your first contact with us by email, you can fill out this form.

Here are some further resources:

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts

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