Can I Still Save My Home If I Didn’t Respond To The Foreclosure Complaint?


It may be possible for a homeowner to save his home if he didn’t respond to a foreclosure complaint in a timely manner.

Motion To File A Late Answer

In appropriate circumstances, a “Motion to File a Late Answer,” can be filed on behalf of a homeowner to appear, and defend their foreclosure action. A motion to file a late Answer is pleading that requests the court’s permission to appear in an action and file an Answer in response to the Plaintiff’s complaint.

By being permitted to file a late Answer, a homeowner could incorporate defenses, affirmative defenses and counterclaims. This would serve as the basis to defend their foreclosure action. In order to submit a motion to file a late Answer, a homeowner’s time to respond to the Plaintiff’s foreclosure complaint, 20 or thirty days depending on the method of service, must have expired.


In order to be granted, a motion to file a late Answer must establish to the Court’s satisfaction, a reasonable excuse, valid defense and non-prejudicial effect on the Plaintiff. However, the Court exercises its broad discretion to determine what constitutes a reasonable excuse and is not easily swayed. What the Court deems to be a reasonable excuse varies. It is dependent upon the specific facts of each particular case.

Various courts have previously held that a reasonable excuse to warrant the submission of a late answer is:

  1. A homeowner’s reliance on a third party loan modification company
  2. Belief that ongoing settlement negotiations suspended the foreclosure process
  3. Law office failure constituted a reasonable excuse to warrant the submission of a late answer.

Any such, and other, reasonable excuse claims must contain detailed facts and documentary evidence to warrant serious consideration by the Court.

Establishing a valid defense and non-prejudicial impact of the delay on the Plaintiff must also be established to the Court’s satisfaction based upon applicable, relevant, statutes and caselaw.

It is essential that a homeowner take immediate action to address the non-submission of a timely response to the Plaintiff’s foreclosure complaint. The length of the expiration of a homeowner’s time to respond to the Plaintiff’s foreclosure complaint is a critical component in the Court’s assessment whether to grant a homeowner’s motion to file a late Answer.

Contact An Experienced Foreclosure Attorney

Our office zealously fights on behalf of homeowners and guides them through all stages of the maze-like foreclosure process. For representation by an aggressive and knowledgable New York Foreclosure Attorney, contact attorney Bruce Richardson for immediate assistance with saving your home.