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How to Answer a Foreclosure Complaint “Pro Se” (without an Attorney)

Why is it important to file an Answer?

If you have received a Foreclosure Summons and Complaint, you have the right to serve and file an Answer to the Complaint pro se, which means without an attorney. This will guarantee that you receive notice of all future actions in the court case, and may help preserve your legal rights. If you don’t file an Answer, the judge will enter a “default” judgment against you and you could lose the right to raise any defenses to the foreclosure. You also may not receive notices from the court about what’s going on with your house and it could be sold without your knowing about it. The guide is designed to help you file an Answer. This should not replace finding a non-profit foreclosure prevention attorney or housing counselor to assist you. In New York City, dial 311 and ask for a referral to free foreclosure prevention services.

If you can only print single-sided pages, download the single sided version of the guide below. Otherwise, download the double sided guide.

Pro Se Answer Instructions Single Sided

Pro Se Answer Instructions Double Sided

Regardless of which form of the guide you wish to download, there is only one form of the actual answer, which you may download by clicking on the link below.

Pro Se Answer Form

Tips for printing the guide as a booklet (this is how it was designed):

Double sided printing instructions:
If you have a double sided printer: on your printer make sure your settings are set to double sided. Make sure your paper is set to “landscape” (not portrait). Select short edge first for binding (if you have this option) it will come out properly, then you just fold it in half and stuff the forms inside.

Single sided printing with double sided copying:
Print the double sided version of the guide. It will print out funny (page 1 and page 32 will be on the same page, page 3 and page 30 will be on the same page). THIS IS OK, this version is supposed to be turned into a booklet… Keep the pages in the same order that they printed out in and feed them into your photo copy machine so that the short edges are first. Select 1 sided to 2 sided for your photocopying setting. The result should be a properly collated copy that you just fold it in half. This is the booklet, then you stuff the forms inside.

This article was posted March 18, 2009