Archive for July 11th, 2012

Success Begins with Showing Up

Woody Allen once said “80 percent of success is just showing up.”  He obviously wasn’t talking about foreclosure lawsuits, but he might as well have been.

Yesterday I attended a mass-motion calendar in Tampa.  As I watched the judge adjudicate one summary judgment motion after another, a clear pattern emerged.

If nobody showed up for the homeowner, a summary judgment was entered and a sale date was set 30 days after.  You don’t show up, you lose.  Case closed.

If a homeowner showed up without an attorney and asserted no defenses, a summary judgment was still entered, but the judge set the sale 120 days out.  In these cases, the homeowners gave the judge no legal reason to deny foreclosure, and had nothing to say as to the merits of the case, but the homeowner’s mere act of showing up caused the judge to feel some compassion.  Typically, the judge encouraged these homeowners to try to take advantage of the time before the sale to work something out with the bank, and while you and I both know that’s very unlikely, hey – when that homeowner presented no defenses at all, getting 3 extra months for doing nothing but showing up is better than nothing.

Finally, if a homeowner showed up through an attorney, the summary judgment was either denied or the hearing was rescheduled for another day.  Of all the cases I observed, not one summary judgment was granted when a lawyer for the defendant appeared in opposition to the motion.

Look … I’ve talked a lot on this blog about legal defenses to foreclosure.  I’ve discussed case law, assessed strategies for defending foreclosure, and tried to articulate the best way to defend cases.  Like Woody Allen said, though, success in foreclosure-world starts with showing up.

Mark Stopa

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