Homeowners who fall seriously behind on their mortgage often notice something strange when they are served a foreclosure complaint: under defendants, alongside their name, there are other “unknown” defendants listed. Who the heck are these “Unknown Parties”, and why are they on your complaint?
Before I answer that, let's look at an example of a foreclosure complaint from a recent client of our firm in Collier county, Florida (my bold):
“VERIFIED MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE COMPLAINT
Plaintiff, U.S. Bank National Association, sues Defendants (Names Redacted); Any and All Unknown Parties Claiming By, Through, Under, and Against the Herein Named Individual Defendant(s) Who Are Not Known to be Dead or Alive, Whether Said Unknown Parties May Claim an Interest as Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees, or Other Claimants; Unknown Party #1, Unknown Party #2, Unknown Party #3 and Unknown Party #4, the names being fictitious to account for parties in possession, and alleges...”
You can see from that excerpt that US Bank is suing homeowners in a foreclosure lawsuit. After the owners names, they also list as defendants “Any and All Unknown Parties (who)...May Claim an Interest” in the property. They use language that covers any possible way that a person could have an interest in the subject property, such as “Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees”.