I am in Foreclosure but Have Not Been Served…But then Again, Maybe You Have
Whether or not one has been served with a lawsuit seems pretty straightforward. Either a process server has handed you papers or he has not. However, in foreclosure actions, it can get tricky, and many homeowners have been served without even realizing it.
A few types of actions in Florida, including mortgage foreclosures, allow people to be served through “constructive service of process.” Constructive service involves the legal fiction that you have been provided with information about a lawsuit even though you may not have the slightest clue.
The way constructive service works is that the lender will first try to serve you by having a process server bring you the legal papers (or at least that is what it is supposed to do). If the lender fails after making a sufficient effort, it may then attempt to serve you through constructive service of process.
Constructive service of process is accomplished by publishing a copy of the summons (very possibly in a publication that no one reads) and mailing a copy of the legal papers to the individual to be served. If you are rarely home or work during the day, you may already have been served with a mortgage foreclosure suit without even realizing it.
If you do not respond to a foreclosure complaint after service, even constructive service, you can be defaulted. Being defaulted is not a good thing. It prevents you from defending a case.
Regardless of whether or not you believe there has been valid service, if you think someone has filed (or could file) a mortgage foreclosure suit against you, you need to contact an attorney immediately.