Although as previously posted regarding the new expedited foreclosure bill, hiring a lawyer to defend your foreclosure goes beyond this new bill.
If you had a foreclosure filed against you after July 1, 2013 then the new foreclosure bill applies to your case and there are certain defenses to the complaint that you must raise right away. Otherwise, you may lose these defenses that a lawyer could have prevailed on (or preserved the issue(s) for an appeal.
Too many times I see potential clients come to us and ask us to represent them late in the case. The issue with this is likely the clients were already defaulted, which occurs when you do not respond to the compliant within 20 days of it being served on you by the sheriff/process server. Once default is entered, it is incredibly difficult to reverse the default merely because you did nothing and did not consult a lawyer timely.
A recent Florida case, Yale Mortgage Corp. v. Blot, 107 So. 3d 1181 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013), held generally that if a borrower merely fails to hire a lawyer, the borrower cannot then come later and try to vacate the default. This is a VERY important decision that should demonstrate that homeowners MUST seek counsel immediately upon being served or risk losing most of their defenses to the foreclosure.
The moral of the story? DON’T WAIT to hire a lawyer.