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The Differences Between Being Served in Person vs Being Served by Publication

By Oppenheim Law on Florida Law, Foreclosure, Real Estate & Roy Oppenheim

“Hi, this is Roy Oppenheim, Real Estate and Foreclosure Defense Attorney. I want to talk a little bit today about the difference about being served in person when the process server leaves papers at your door versus when you are served by publication. Typically, you’re served by publication when the processor is unable to find you. It’s a very important distinction that I want people to understand. If you’re served in person, that means the court has what’s called “”in personam jurisdiction”” over you. They have jurisdiction over you, the person, which means not only can they foreclose, but they can also sue you for a deficiency and it means that they have the right to basically come after you personally. If you only get served by publication, then the court or the bank only has the right to come after you for purposes of taking your res, taking your property from you. But they can’t come after you personally for a deficiency. So, for example, if there’s been a foreclosure and the bank for some reason lost the real estate for some crazy reason, maybe because of a homeowner’s association or maybe because of a tax detail, whatever it is, if they served you personally, they can then sue you personally for the entire amount of what you still owe the bank. But if you are served by publication and they’re unable to foreclose for whatever reason, they cannot come after you personally if they have not served you personally. So it’s really very simple. If they serve you personally, they can come after you personally. If they served you by publication, they can’t come after you personally. So it’s very important that you don’t in any way consent to the jurisdiction by filing some piece of paper that then allows a service of process that has been done by publication to convert to a personal publication by responding in the wrong way to the lawsuit. You have to be very careful in what you do and how you handle it, and that’s why you’ve got guys like me out there, our firm out there. Roy Oppenheim, from the trenches. Give us a call. Have a great day.”