Foreclosure Process Overview
Lenders are required to follow both Federal and State laws and rules. The New Jersey Foreclosure Act requires certain steps to be taken before a residence can be sold at sheriff sale. The process begins with a Notice of Intention to Foreclose which will state that the mortgage is in default and explain the rights of the owner to cure the default. It will list the amounts due on or before a certain day. This notice is usually received after you become 90 days delinquent on your payments. If you have received such a notice, please call for a free consultation immediately. Waiting and doing nothing will only make matters worse. There are many options available to homeowners to modify, cure or reinstate the mortgage to stop the foreclosure process. Go to our Mortgage Modifications page to learn more about these options.
If you do not cure the delinquency on your mortgage the bank will then file a Complaint for Foreclosure against all owners of record on the property seeking to foreclose such owner’s right to possession of the property. The Complaint must be served in person. Anyone served with the Complaint will then have 35 days to file an Answer. If you do not have a valid defense to the Complaint or fail to file an Answer the bank will then file a Notice of Default and Entry for Final Judgment. Once the Final Judgment is entered your rights will be severely affected but you will still have options available to you. Please call for a free consultation if you have been served with a Complaint for Foreclosure or a Notice of Default. There are many defenses available and options to avoid foreclosure of your home.
After the Judgment of Foreclosure has been entered the next step of the foreclosure process is a judicial public sale of the property by the sheriff of the county where the property is located. The bank must serve a Writ of Execution to the Sheriff. The Sheriff is then required to cause notice of the sale for 4 consecutive weeks in 2 local newspapers. The first publication must be not more than 21 days and the last not more than 8 days prior to the sale date. In addition, all parties to the foreclosure must be served with a Notice of Sale at least 10 days prior to the sale date. If you have received a Notice of Sale please call my office immediately for a free consultation. You still have options available to you. A sheriff’s sale can be stopped with the filing of a bankruptcy up to the day and time of the sale.
Most Sheriff’s Offices in New Jersey allow for two (2) adjournments of 14 days each if requested in writing by an owner. This means upon written request and for good cause, the Sheriff can adjourn the sale date at any time not exceeding 14 days per adjournment. Statutory adjournments are used to give the homeowner time to determine their best course of action when trying to save their home.