Answered on Jan 3, 2012
You can delay foreclosure for a significant period these days, but you should get an attorney as soon as the complaint is filed. If you do not properly respond, you could lose your rights without an opportunity to present a defense (limiting the delay). More often than not a lender could pursue a deficiency judgment against an owner, if the amount of the loan is greater than the price received for the house at a sale. However, more often than not, the lenders choose not persue the deficiency judgment because of the costs. If it appears that you purposefully destroyed the place, it may make it more likely that they persue the deficiency judgement.