It depends. If the foreclosure complaint is verified then the foreclosure answer must be verified too. Sometimes the foreclosure complaint will not say it's verified so you need to check to see if there is an actual verification. If the foreclosure complaint is verified and the foreclosure answer is not, then the bank attorney can reject the foreclosure answer. The bank attorney must indicate the basis for the rejection and it must be done timely. If the foreclosure answer is rejected, then it is likely that the time period to answer would have already expired. If so, then the homeowner's foreclosure answer is treated as a mere notice of appearance and the homeowner will be deemed in default unless the bank attorney grants an extension ( unlikely at that point) or unless the homeowner brings a motion compelling the plaintiff to accept a late verified answer. In the latter case, the courts will generally grant this relief so long as the motion is timely made and there is a good reason for failing to verify the answer. Even if the foreclosure complaint is unverified, if the foreclosure answer is to have counterclaims against the foreclosing bank then the foreclosure answer will need to be verified so long as those counterclaims allege fraudulent conduct on the part of the bank. Bottom line is that New York foreclosure litigation is fraught with danger to the untrained; it is important to protect the home by making sure an experienced foreclosure attorney is representing you.
Arnold M. Bottalico is an experienced Long Island, NY foreclosure attorney with over 25 years of experience, and he welcomes your questions and comments.