What to do ifI am now being sued regarding a house that I lost 3 years ago?

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What to do ifI am now being sued regarding a house that I lost 3 years ago?

I got served a summons and the complaint says “Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Equitable Relief” . On the summons it states that I have to file with the clerk of the said court and serve upon the plaintiff’s attorney, I have tried calling 3 times today and all I get is voice mail. It states if I fail to do so within 30 days a judgment by default will be taken against me for the relief demanded in the complaint. From what Ican see they have sold the house but it wasn’t for what I owed for the houes. what can they and what cant they do to me?

Asked on August 17, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You will need to file an answer to the complaint with the court and have it served by mail on the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney. Calling the court will not be sufficient. 

At the law library, look in the index of Pleading and Practice for answer to complaint.  The law librarian can help you find it.  This will give you the general format for an answer to the complaint.  The answer denies the allegations in the complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign under penalty of perjury attesting to the veracity of your statements in the answer.  You will need to file the answer including the verification and an attached proof of service with the court prior to the 30 day deadline stated in the summons.  The 30 days starts from the date you were served with the summons and complaint.  As for the proof of service, you are attaching to your answer, you can either use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own, it just says that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless specified otherwise to _____________ (name and address of opposing attorney or name and address of the person suing you if that person doesn't have an attorney) on ___________ (date).  You sign and date the proof of service at the bottom of the form under penalty of perjury.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same as the date you file these documents with the court.

If you don't timely file an answer to the complaint with the court, the opposing party will win by default.  This means the court will grant the opposing party the items being asked for in the complaint- declaratory judgment and equitable relief.  If that happens, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court rules in favor of having the default set aside, the case is back on track and litigation continues. 

From what you described, it sounds like the party suing you may be seeking the difference between the selling price of the house and the amount you owed, but without knowing more about the contents of the complaint (lawsuit), I can't be certain of that.


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