New Jersey Foreclosure Process

What is the foreclosure process in New Jersey?

New Jersey is a judicial state with regard to foreclosure.  At least 30 days prior to the start of the foreclosure process, the lender sends a letter to the borrower warning of the foreclosure.

 

Like Pennsylvania, in New Jersey the mortgage lender records a lis pendens (notice of pending lawsuit) with the county court.  The lender can then sue for either the default payments or the entire balance of the loan.  The borrower has 35 days to respond, or the court can make a ruling.  If the court rules in favor of the lender, then a foreclosure sale date will be scheduled.

 

The borrower must be given at least 10 days’ notice about the Sheriff’s Sale.  If someone successfully bids at the foreclosure sale, then they must pay the Sheriff’s Department within 10 days.

 

Unlike Pennsylvania, the borrower has redemption rights during the 10 days following the sale.  In some cases, a successful bidder for a property may have to relinquish the property back to the former owner.

 

Timeline for Foreclosure in New Jersey

August 1, 2011 August mortgage payment due but not paid
September 1, 2011 September mortgage payment also due.  Two months’ payments are now due.
October 1, 2011 October mortgage payment due.  Three months’ payments are now due.
October 6, 2011 Lender must send Notice of Intention to Foreclose to borrower via registered or certified mail with return receipt requested at least 30 days before filing a lawsuit.  Notice must be posted on the property two times in four weeks before suit, or notice must be published in two newspapers.  Notice must also be sent to the borrower and other parties, such as other lien-holders.
November 21, 2011 The borrower has 45 days to respond to the notice.  If there is no adequate response, a Foreclosure Complaint is filed at the Trenton Foreclosure Office.  It takes 30-60 days for the Complaint to be served to the borrower.
January 21, 2012 The Complaint is served.  The borrower has up to 35 days to answer.
February 27, 2012

If the borrower does not contest the foreclosure action, then a Judgment may be entered in 10 days if there are no other encumbrances.  If there are other encumbrances, then judgment is entered in 30 days.  If the borrower contests the foreclosure, then the case is sent to Chancery Court for discovery and trial.

March 8, 2012 Notice of Entry of Final Judgment.  The borrower has 10 days to respond if the borrower can cure the default.  If a good faith statement is sent by the borrower via certified or registered mail with return receipt requested, the borrower may be granted 45 days to cure the default.
March 23, 2012 Final Judgment.  Occurs a few days after expiration of time after filing a non-contesting answer or order on motion or after losing a trial in Chancery Court.  The right to cure (pay arrears only) ends.  The right to redeem continues (pay everything).
March 31, 2012 Writ of Execution.  Sheriff’s Sale is scheduled within 120 days of receipt of writ.
May 15, 2012 Sheriff’s Sale scheduled.  Notice must be published.  If the borrower is considering bankruptcy, they must file prior to the Sheriff’s Sale to preserve right of redemption.
June 13, 2012 Sheriff’s Sale.  Borrower has a 10 day right of redemption.
June 27, 2012 Deed Transfer.  The foreclosure is final.
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