What Should I Do If I Was Served With A Foreclosure Complaint?

If you received a summons and complaint, and want to fight the foreclosure action, you only have a brief time period to respond by a written Answer. The time to answer the summons and complaint is either 20 or 30 days, depending on how you received the summons and complaint.

20 days – if the Summons and Complaint was given to you by personal (in hand) delivery, or 30 days – if the Summons and Complaint was given to you in any other way.

The Answer

The Answer should include responses to each of the claims made by the Plaintiff in the complaint. In each of the numbered paragraphs in the Answer, a Defendant must admit, deny, or state that there is insufficient knowledge to admit or deny the allegations for the corresponding numbered paragraph in the complaint for foreclosure. The lender must prove any allegation that is denied. If an allegation is admitted, the court will accept it as fact.

Defense, Affirmative Defense, And Counterclaims

In addition to responding to each of the lender’s claims, a Defendant may wish to provide defenses or affirmative defenses as part of the Answer to the foreclosure complaint. A defense is a reason why the foreclosure lawsuit should not have been filed in the first place. An affirmative defense is a reason why a judgment should not be granted in favor of the lender. A Defendant may also file a counterclaim. A counterclaim seeks relief (for example, money damages) against the Plaintiff. Counterclaims should be set forth in a separate section titled “counterclaims” after the portion of the answer described above.


Time is of the essence once a homeowner has been served with a summons and complaint. It is crucial that a homeowner take immediate action after being served with a foreclosure summons and complaint to save their home. A homeowner’s failure to timely respond to a foreclosure summons and complaint can have devastating consequences that may result in a default judgment. Defaulting in a foreclosure action may prevent a homeowner from raising any valid legal claims and defenses present in their case to save their home.

Timely, and properly, responding to a foreclosure complaint is an essential step towards a homeowner being able to save their home.

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.