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Difference Between Hearings and Trials

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Foreclosure cases are often worrisome for individuals facing them, particularly if their primary residence is at stake. During the foreclosure process several actions take place simultaneously and that can seem overwhelming because homeowners aren’t familiar with the legal process.

It becomes difficult to differentiate between standard formalities and true decision-making events. Generally, clients think that any formal action before a judge is cause for concern. It’s understandable that a person unfamiliar with the process may feel this way; however, many times it is just a formality. To put one’s mind at ease, it helps to understand the different reasons why the foreclosure attorney may need to go before a judge.

Hearing on General Motions –

Throughout the entire foreclosure lawsuit, motions will regularly be heard before the presiding judge. A Motion refers to a piece of legal paperwork, also known as a pleading, where one of the parties asks the court to do something. Ordinarily these hearings are five to ten minutes in length, and are no cause for concern. The foreclosure attorney will rarely require that the client attend these hearings as the facts of the case are almost never discussed.

Hearing on a Motion for Summary Judgment-

Toward the end of the foreclosure lawsuit, lenders and their attorneys often file a special motion called a Motion for Summary Judgment. In this motion, the lender asks the judge to enter the Final Judgment of the foreclosure then and there because there are no questions about the facts or the law, and they are entitled to the judgment. This hearing lasts a little longer than a typical motion, usually around fifteen minutes. The foreclosure defense lawyer has many strategies to prevent the court from granting the motion and entering judgment. The foreclosure attorney may or may not request the client attend, it would depend on the facts of the case.

Trial –

A foreclosure trial almost never occurs before a jury and it is likely the attorney will request that the client attend. At the trial the presiding Judge will take evidence about the foreclosure lawsuit in the form of witness testimony, and at the end, the Judge makes a decision about the foreclosure lawsuit. Since a trial involves all of the facts of the lawsuit, witness testimony, and is usually the final hearing on the case, they require extensive preparation by the attorney. Many foreclosure cases are resolved as part of an agreement during this stage, without a trial ever proceeding. A trial may also be postponed by a foreclosure defense attorney as a part of the defense strategy. It is very important to communicate with your foreclosure attorney in the days leading up to the trial to make decision on the best plan of action.

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