New Jersey Foreclosure Timeline
Individuals who fall behind on their mortgage payments often fear the mortgage lender’s ability to quickly repossess or foreclose upon their home. However, while it is legal for a mortgage lender to foreclose upon your home if you are delinquent in your payments, the New Jersey foreclosure timeline typically extends over a fairly long period of time—often a year or more.
This can give you time to determine your next actions, whether they involve finding a way to bring the mortgage current or securing another home for your family. A knowledgeable foreclosure attorney can explain the process in detail and ensure that all proper procedures are followed before your home is foreclosed upon.
New Jersey’s Foreclosure Notice Requirements
New Jersey is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning that certain statutorily mandated procedures must be followed before a mortgage lender is entitled to sell a delinquent borrower’s home at auction. Federal law now usually requires that the borrower be at least 120 days delinquent before the lender can begin the foreclosure process.
One significant milestone in the New Jersey foreclosure timeline involves providing the borrower with adequate notice. The mortgage lender is required to send the borrower a notice of the lender’s intent to foreclose upon the home 30 days before the lender is even entitled to file a foreclosure complaint, using registered or certified mail. The notice must:
- Clearly identify the mortgage lender’s interest in the property and the contact information of the mortgage lender
- State the reason for the foreclosure, such as the number of missed mortgage payments,
- Describe the debtor’s ability to cure by bringing the mortgage current, including the amount that the debtor must pay and the deadline for curing the default, which must be at least 30 days from the date of notice
- Provide information about what will happen if the borrower does not cure the default
- Notify the borrower that he or she is entitled to sell the property while the foreclosure is pending
- Identify resources that the borrower can use to help cure the default
If the borrower is unable to cure within 30 days, the lender can then file a foreclosure complaint with the Office of Foreclosure. After this step, the debtor will file an answer listing any possible defenses to the foreclosure.
Entry of Final Judgment
If the debtor fails to file an answer, the lender will request a default judgment against the borrower. Before the lender can request entry of final judgment from the court, the next step in the New Jersey foreclosure timeline requires that the mortgage lender provide the borrower with one last chance to cure 14 days prior to requesting final judgment.
If the borrower believes that he or she can cure, a response to this notice is required within ten days. The lender then must give the borrower 45 days to cure. If no cure is possible, the judge will grant final judgment to the lender, who may then proceed with the sheriff sale process. Additional notices are required to give the borrower notice of the date of sale, which the borrower is entitled to delay by two weeks.
Contacting a New Jersey Foreclosure Attorney to Learn About the Foreclosure Timeline
A reputable New Jersey foreclosure attorney can be a valuable asset as the New Jersey foreclosure timeline progresses. The attorney can help you evaluate your options and ensure that the mortgage lender complies fully with all state and federally mandated rules to help ensure that the process is fair and provide you with as much information as possible.