Being served anything but a delectable ice cream sundae or a cold beer is not something anyone wants to deal with or even want to prepare for. However, during the recent recession it’s inevitable for some people not to deal with the dreaded foreclosure papers. So, how do you respond, what’s the next step?

Once a home goes into foreclosure it can’t be put up for sale and done away with. There is a legal process that requires the lender to give some form of a formal notice or several notices leading up to the sale. The kind of notice you will get depends on where you live. Some will get a notice of default allowing them time to reinstate the mortgage, some will get a notice of default and sale, and others are simply notified, privately or publicly, of the sale date.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you might receive a notice of foreclosure without cause. You respond by filing an answer or a motion to dismiss with the clerk of court where the complaint has been filed. You will most likely be summoned to the foreclosure proceedings with the appropriate court. You will be given a certain amount of time to respond to the complaint. In almost all judicial foreclosure states, if the judge orders the foreclosure sale, you’ll get a notice telling you when and where the sale will take place.

This post was written by Stephen Hachey. Follow Stephen on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.