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Who Are the Unknown Defendants in Your Foreclosure Lawsuit?

Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 4.03.50 PM.pngIf you have been served with a foreclosure complaint who may notice that under defendants, (the person being sued) alongside your name on the complaint other "unknown" defendants are listed? We are often asked who are these unknown defendants and why are they listed.

In a foreclosure complaint the plaintiff is usually your Bank, or mortgage servicer.  The first defendant listed (the person being sued) is the homeowner.  After the homeowner, the bank often names as additional defendants in the lawsuit any and all parties who could potentially have some interest in the property.  They do so by including language such as "Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees" "John Doe and Jane Doe 1-10 (Names Being Fictitious") and "Any and All Unknown Parties Who May Claim an Interest" in the property.

Why Does the Bank List "Unknown" Defendants?

You are probably wondering why the bank lists unknown parties as defendants and does not just list the property owner(s) who took out the mortgage.  The general reason is that the bank does not want to learn after the foreclosure is over that they failed to name in the lawsuit a person who had a legal interest in the property.   They don't want anyone to being able to come forward after the foreclosure is finalized and say they had an interest in the property but did not receive notice of the foreclosure.  If it turns out that no additional persons with an interest exist, the bank can dismiss the "unknowns" from the lawsuit.

If you are a homeowner served with a foreclosure complaint you do not need to worry about the unknown and unnamed parties listed as defendants.  You would probably know about any people that have an interest in your home.  The bank is merely listing them to cover its bases.

Should I Hire an Attorney to Answer the Foreclosure Complaint?

You do not legally need a lawyer to answer a foreclosure complaint. However, you should consider hiring an experienced foreclosure attorney as the banks have attorneys working for them.  At Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. we have extensive experience in handling foreclosure actions and know the defenses that can be raised. Contact us today at 973-323-2953 to schedule a free initial consultation with a compassionate and knowledgeable lawyer. You can also contact us online.

We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress.  We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years. The information on this website and blogs is for general information purposes only.  Nothing should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

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