Serve: To deliver a legal document, especially a process or notice to a homeowner.
Serve: To make legal delivery of a notice. For example, copy of the foreclosure complaint was served on the homeowner. It can also mean to present a person with a process as required by law. For example, the homeowner was served with process.
Steps Followed to Serve a Notice on a Homeowner
To serve someone a notice means to give a legal document to someone, demanding that they appear before a court of law or obey an order.
During a foreclosure proceeding, “The lender, through a process server, must attempt to serve the borrower in person. If the process server cannot serve the borrower at his/her home, he may deliver the summons and complaint to another adult residing at the borrower’s address. The process server must then send another copy by mail. If no one is home, the process servicer may leave the notice at the door, as well as send it by mail. This is often called “nail and mail” service,” according to the New York State Unified Court System.
After a homeowner is served with a notice of foreclosure, the time to respond to the complaint begins to run on the date they were served.
When a bank or lender fails to serve a homeowner correctly, this can be used as a defense against foreclosure.
In Illinois, attorney Lloyd J. Brooks represented a borrower in Deutsche Bank v. Hall-Pilate, et al., 2011 IL App(1st) 102632, who called into question the service process during a foreclosure.
“Brooks represented homeowners in a mortgage foreclosure action who were never served with a summons. Prior to retaining Brooks’ services the clients were represented by another attorney who never contested that the homeowners were not properly served. The trial judge found that the homeowner’s waived any right to object as a result of the prior attorney’s actions. On appeal, Brooks vehemently argued that a party’s failure to object to service of a summons cannot waive their objection to orders entered before the homeowner appeared in court. Brooks ‘s position in this case was recently vindicated by the Illinois Supreme Court, which ruled that a homeowner may continue to contest jurisdiction even after appearing in a case,” according to Consumer Legal Group, P.C.
In South Carolina, for example, which is a judicial foreclosure state, a notice and a hearing in court are required before a foreclosure sale. To start the process, the bank must file a summons and complaint in the county in which the property is located. The summons and complaint must be served on the homeowner, meaning they must either be given directly to the homeowner, mailed to the homeowner via certified mail with a return receipt requested; left at the homeowner’s residence with someone over the age of 14, or served by publication in a local newspaper.