The NJ Foreclosure Timeline


If you’ve missed even one mortgage payment, your lender could potentially start the foreclosure process against you. It’s not likely that just one missed payment will trigger foreclosure proceedings, but it is possible. If you have missed three or more consecutive mortgage payments, it’s highly likely that your lender is thinking that foreclosure is imminent.

If you are facing a potential foreclosure in New Jersey, there are some very important facts about the NJ foreclosure timeline that you should familiarize yourself with. This will help you know what to expect along the way, and also how to stop a foreclosure, if that is what you ultimately want.

Many people who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments live in fear that they will one day be evicted without warning. Luckily, this will not happen. Because New Jersey foreclosures are judicial, the entire process must be completed via the NJ court system. This means that lenders must follow certain rules and timelines in order to foreclose on a borrower.

For example, before your lender can even file a foreclosure lawsuit against you, they must first notify you of their intent to do so. This “Notice of Intent to Foreclose” is a legal document, and must be received by the borrower at least 30 days prior to filing of the complaint. This gives you 30 days to prepare yourself for foreclosure to begin.

When your lender does file a foreclosure lawsuit, they must send you a copy of the Complaint, along with a Summons. The Complaint is a document that contains all of the information about your mortgage – like the amount owed, names of borrowers, address of the property in question, and a requested “relief” from the state court.  The “relief” sought is typically permission to sell the property in order to make up for money they lost due to the fact that you have ceased making payments.

Along with the Complaint, you will be sent something called a Summons. Both of these documents must be sent to you via registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. The Summons basically tells you what is going on, and explains that you have a right to file an “Answer,” or a response to the Complaint. You must file your Answer within 35 days of the date that you received the Summons and Complaint.

If the judge decides in favor of your lender, the sale of your home will be scheduled, but typically not for at least another 30 days or more. Your lender is required to post a Notice of Sale on your property, and the Notice must also be printed in no less than 2 local newspapers for at least 4 weeks.

Because New Jersey is a judicial foreclosure state, you will have a significant period of time (from Notice of Intent to Foreclose) to find another place to live. This time will be extended if you file an Answer and contest the foreclosure.

If you’d like to oppose a foreclosure being filed against you, it’s important to do so with professional assistance. An experienced foreclosure defense attorney who knows NJ foreclosure laws is vital to your success in keeping your home.

Your foreclosure attorney can guide you through the process listed above, and can also file any and all paperwork for you, as well as negotiate with your lender if you oppose the foreclosure and want to remain in the home. If you’re worried about the cost of retaining an attorney: don’t be. The right attorney can help you keep your home, wipe out your late fees, extend the life of your loan, and ultimately lower your monthly payment so that you will end up saving money in the end.

Quality foreclosure defense in New Jersey is hard to find. If you want to stay in your home, contact us now, regardless of how far into the foreclosure process you are. Our client success stories will show you that it is possible to save your home.

Image credit: woodleywonderworks

10 Responses to The NJ Foreclosure Timeline

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