Thursday, September 5, 2013

Participating in Foreclosure Settlement Conferences prevents Default Judgment against Mortgagor

In a strikingly important decision, the Supreme Court, Kings County, faced the issue of whether a Defendant who participates in Foreclosure Settlement Conferences, but did not Answer the Complaint, can be held in Default granting the lender judgment.

The Court held:  "For the most part, caselaw is clear that, where a defendant makes an "informal appearance" within the time specified by CPLR 320(a), the defendant is not "in default," and a motion to enter judgment by default should be denied."

Practitioners and borrowers alike should read this decision and utilize it to advocate against judgments as many pro se defendants in the foreclosure arena participate in settlement conferences without formally answering.