The first real step in the legal process of taking a house through foreclosure in judicial procedure states comes when the bank files its lawsuit against the borrowers in a local district court. This is the point at which threats of foreclosing turn into real actions by the lender, but this is also the point at which many borrowers could derail the entire process. Unfortunately, too few take advantage of this opportunity.
Instead, the vast majority of homeowners do nothing to answer the bank’s complaint, even when they know that the foreclosure is based on mistakes, oversights, or outright fraud on the part of the lender or mortgage servicing company. They try to work with the bank’s loss mitigation department to modify the loan or find a foreclosure lender to refinance with or list the house on the market. They fight foreclosure out of court, but it is the court process that will take their home from them.
Thus, it seems that, if homeowners really wanted to stop foreclosure before the house is sold and they are evicted, they would simply work within the court system. Easier said than done! Unfortunately, a number of factors work against borrowers who try to defend their properties in a court of law. Banks are aware of these factors and have the resources to overcome them, making it much easier to foreclose on a house than defend a house from foreclosure.
First, the lack of education about how the legal system works in America is appalling. Out of any twenty random people, six of them are currently involved in a lawsuit or will be at some point in their lives. But only a small number of people can afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to go to undergraduate school and then law school. Nearly thirty percent of people will have to go to court, yet only the very well off can afford to know what is actually said and done in a court.
Second, the treatment many “ordinary” people receive at the hands of tyrannical judges persuades many people not to bother with government courts. Judges have been caught literally selling kids into private jails, giving homeowners a 15-second hearing regarding a bank’s foreclosure lawsuit, and even not responding to the most basic questions of fairness and the legal process. The standard answer of the corrupt judge to someone defending himself: “If you don’t like it, hire a lawyer.”
Third, the number of procedural rules to be followed is endless and contradictory, and frequently ignored by judges and banks. Pointing out rules violations by the bank’s attorneys is enough for a judge to ignore the homeowners and literally ask the lender’s attorney for help making the problem go away. But any violation of one of the thousands of rules of procedure by a homeowner is, of course, grounds to have their defense thrown out and the foreclosure allowed to proceed.
Finally, the legal language itself causes many homeowners just to give up on the whole court process. Lawyers have come up with dictionaries longer than regular dictionaries just to define the terms they use, and even borrowers representing themselves are expected to know these definitions from front to back. People facing foreclosure are given “their day in court,” but everyone else there is speaking a different language.
Just the legalese is usually enough to convince many foreclosure victims to stay far, far away from the courts. And this should be no surprise to anyone who has had to read any law material. It would be as if people facing foreclosure were forced to go to court where the judge and bank’s attorneys are speaking ancient Greek, which the homeowners are expected to know and are given no credit for any of their positions that are spoken in plain English.
It is clear that the government court system does not exist to help people get justice or defend themselves. It is, instead, an excuse for lawyers to speak in a different language and shut any non-lawyer out of the system. Laws are nothing more than opinions backed by a gun. Only lawyers in Congress and state legislatures are allowed to write opinions backed by violence. And then lawyers in black dresses (judges) and other private attorneys are allowed to interpret these opinions, to the exclusion of everyone else.
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