New Jersey Foreclosure: How Does it Work?

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Photo courtesy of Daniel O’neil

As we’ve talked about recently here on our blog, there have been a number of important changes to the New Jersey foreclosure rules and regulations. These changes are by and large due to loss of funding to the New Jersey State Foreclosure Mediation Program. Because of these changes, homeowners will now have less help as they are negotiating the foreclosure process, which can spell disaster for those who are unfamiliar with all of the legal jargon and potential legal complications along the way.

As always, we remain steadfast in our desire to offer as much support as possible to our clients who are in the midst of the foreclosure process, as well as those who have just begun to consider foreclosure as a realistic option. Today we hope to teach you a little bit about the basics of the New Jersey foreclosure timeline and what to expect along the way, should you decide that entering into foreclosure might just be the right decision for you and your finances.

Along with finding a highly qualified attorney with experience in the foreclosure arena, you must also stay up to speed on the foreclosure process and what will be expected of you for the best chance at getting the results that you desire. Although we will do whatever it takes to get you there, we also believe that the best client is an educated one.

Unfortunately, from start to finish, the foreclosure process seems to be taking longer and longer in New Jersey. This has been attributed to foreclosure prevention efforts and new servicing standards initiated by the nation’s five largest lenders. With that being said, it doesn’t always drag on endlessly, especially if you and your attorney take the right steps in a timely manner.

The entire New Jersey foreclosure process can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. For your ease of understanding, we’ve laid out the important steps involved in a typical New Jersey foreclosure:

  • Cease payment – Once you have decided to allow your home to go into foreclosure, you’ll stop making payments to your lender.
  • Notice of Intent to Foreclose (aka Lis Pendens) – Comparable to a warning, your lender or bank is required to send you a notice that they plan to go forward with a foreclosure on your property. They must show proof that you received this notice at least 30 days before they file a formal Complaint with the court.
  • Summons and Complaint – Once the Notice of Intent to Foreclose has been issued, your lender will typically file a Summons and Complaint 30 days later. What this means is that your lender has officially started the foreclosure process, in the court system, and you have been notified.
  • Answer to Complaint – Once the Foreclosure Complaint has been filed with the court, you have 30 days to respond to the Complaint with an ‘Answer.’
  • Sheriff’s Sale – If you do not contest the foreclosure, your home will be put up for Sheriff’s Sale within several months. Upon the sale of your home, you’ll be given an eviction notice.
  • Requesting a Stay for Mediation – If you’d prefer not to lose your home to foreclosure, you can request a stay, which means, “hold up a minute here I need help.” Previously, home owners could request this help up to and including the eve of their Sheriff’s Sale. That is no longer the case. New foreclosure rules state that you and your attorney must request a stay for mediation within two (2) months after the date of the filing of the Complaint.

Whether you think foreclosure is the right decision or if you’ve been forced into potentially losing your home against your wishes, please don’t go it alone. We can help you understand the entire process, and we’ve helped a multitude of clients get the foreclosure results that they needed and wanted. For more information, call our office today.

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7 Responses to New Jersey Foreclosure: How Does it Work?

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