Jose:Courts are usually somewhat more permissive in allowing a tardy answer where a default hasn't been entered, but you need to get this application right. This often involves making an application for an enlargement under an excusable neglect standard relying upon a state's equivalent to Federal Rule 6(b)(2).
If you have been sued and failed to file an answer, you need to find an attorney RIGHT AWAY!
Folks here at the Forum have responded to the queries you have posed, but it seems as though you have missed some of the most basic concepts.
When you fail to timely answer, the plaintiff can usually obtain a default judgment against you. While there are circumstances where a default judgment can be set aside, these are usually very limited and in most places this can only be done when it can be shown that you were never properly served. Even when service is defective, in many places the defendant has to show not only a defect in service, but also a meritorious defense.
And the defendant will bear the burden of proof as to both of these elements.
Serving a QWR is a means of obtaining some evidence IN ADVANCE OF SUIT and even while a borrower is actually fully current on the mortgage.
By contrast, once a law suit is underway, the most effective means of gathering evidence is usually discovery under a jurisdiction's rules of civil procedure.
FIND A GOOD LAWYER BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!