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I Received a (Mortgage Foreclosure) Notice of Hearing: Now What?
The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County has written a number of articles on how to respond to various pleadings and motions filed by the Plaintiff (your lender) in a mortgage foreclosure action. However, we still receive dozens of calls every week from homeowners who have a court date and are not sure what will actually occur when they get to Court. The following is a breakdown of the day to day mechanics of foreclosure hearings in Palm Beach County.
- Your Notice of Hearing will come via US Mail from the Plaintiff's law firm. The only time you will be personally served is when you receive the Summons and Complaint.
- The Notice of Hearing will have two key pieces of information. First, it will provide you the date, time and location of your hearing. Second it will provide you with what motion is being called up before the Judge.
- You will always be directed to Courtroom 4A. However, foreclosure hearings are handled all over the Courthouse. If your hearing is scheduled for 8:45AM then your hearing is on the Court's Uniform Motion Calendar. You should arrive at the Courthouse by 8:30AM to begin checking in and finding out where your hearing will actually be held. In the mornings, two or three court personnel will be outside of Courtroom 4A checking in attorneys and pro se Defendants (homeowners). You should sign in with the Court Personnel (show them a copy of your Notice of Hearing) and they will tell you which Courtroom to proceed to. If your hearing is scheduled for any time other than 8:45AM, there is a large board outside Courtroom 4A with the daily calendar of cases. Look up your case by either the case number or your name and you find which Courtroom you hearing will be held in and which Judge will be handling your case that day. The Courtroom numbers correspond with the floor on which the Courtroom is located. For example, Courtroom 6J is located on the sixth floor.
- Once you enter the Courtroom, you will find that the Plaintiff's attorney will approach you to discuss the upcoming hearing. The Court encourages this behavior as it can save the Court a great deal of time by the parties coming to an agreement prior to arguing before the Court. It is perfectly fine to speak with the attorneys and try to resolve your matter, but never forget that they represent the Plaintiff and not you.
- The Judge will call up the cases by name, so you must wait until your case is called up. Plan on setting aside at least 2 hours for an 8:45AM hearing as the motion calendar is very crowded with the number of foreclosures filed in Palm Beach County.
- After your hearing, wait and the Court will provide you with a copy of the Court's Order, which puts in writing how the Court has ruled on the motion.
- Finally, should you get lost or need assistance, just ask. Most attorneys will take the time to look at your Notice of Hearing and point you in the right direction.
If you have been served with a foreclosure complaint on your primary residence and need assistance, please contact the Legal Aid Society's Foreclosure Defense Unit at (561) 655-8944 Ext. 325.
IMPORTANT: The information on this Website is not intended as legal advice or representation. No attorney-client relationship is created between the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc. and any person obtaining information from this website. Public benefits and other laws change frequently. We strive to keep this website up to date but cannot provide a guarantee that this information is accurate as of the time you are reading it.