Discovery is the process by which a homeowner is able to request certain documents from the bank or other financial institution that is attempting to foreclose on their home. There are numerous laws that have been passed in an effort to protect homeowners and force banks to produce certain documents related to the homeowner's mortgage, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth-in-Lending Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). New York State law also provides for numerous procedures that a bank or other financial institution must follow when attempting to foreclose on a home.
Discovery can be a useful tool for a homeowner who wishes to fight a foreclosure action through the state courts, and will often delay the foreclosure process as the bank or other financial institution must take time to locate the requested documentation. If the bank or other financial institution does not comply with the homeowner's discovery demands, the homeowner can file what is known as a "motion to compel" and ask the court to compel the bank or other financial institution to produce the requested documents.