When it comes to your court case, it is imperative that you, the client, and your lawyer are on top of things. While you hired your attorney to help you, and guide you, it is just as important that you inform yourself of the proceedings of your case.
An Indiana woman learned this lesson the hard way.
Lisa El, the defendant, was faced with foreclosure. The court notified El and Nationstar Mortgage, of the documents that would be needed at the court-ordered settlement conference. El would need to provide, her present and projected future income, expenses, assets and liabilities, pay stubs, banks statements, utility bills and tax returns. Both El and Nationstar were ordered to appear in person in September of 2017. However, El failed to appear, as well as failed to submit any documents to Nationstar required in the notice and order for settlement.
Nationstar continued with the foreclosure and default judgment was granted to Nationstar against El. In February 2018, El filed an appearance and second motion for a settlement conference. She acknowledged the first settlement conference and asked the trial court to reschedule. She said, she applied for housing assistance, and “was not aware of that additional documents were required by Nationstar, and “was misinformed as to the settlement conference proceedings.” The trial court denied her request; Lisa M. El v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, 18A-MF-338, stating the case had been resolved.
Judge James Kirsch wrote for the court, “Section 10 grants the trial court discretion to ‘reconvene’ the settlement conference, for cause, ‘at any time before judgment is entered’.” The appellate court concluded the case was closed by the time El filed for a second conference.
Word to the Wise: Missing a court date and failing to submit documents that were Ordered by the Court will almost always, go badly for the offending party. If a party fails to participate in the proceedings they can’t complain when the Court rules against them.
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