New Jersey Foreclosures: News & Info

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Foreclosures in New Jersey - 2023 update

In 2022, New Jersey ranked 2nd highest in the rate of foreclosure activity, according to Attom Data Solutions. Over 16,000 New Jersey households received a foreclosure notice during 2022 and Attom is forecasting foreclosure activity to rise further in 2023.

Despite covid-related relief measures, there are still many loans in foreclosure and pre-foreclosure, including many cases that stalled during the pandemic that have now resumed in 2023.

Furthermore, many loans which were given unsustainable modifications prior to the pandemic are now vulnerable to foreclosure as pandemic-related protections or forbearances come to an end. We have seen lenders who had paused foreclosure activities quickly shifting gears in 2023 to try and push foreclosure cases forward at greater speed once pandemic-era protections fully expire this year. 

As the foreclosure landscape changes in 2023, we believe it is imperative that anyone who is having difficult with making or resuming loan payments actively defend their home from the threat of foreclosure with the help of a foreclosure attorney.

The Foreclosure Process in New Jersey

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The foreclosure process in New Jersey typically involves the following steps. This is just a general description and in reality, there are many more steps that occur during the process.

1.      "Default" in making your loan payment - You miss making your mortgage payments, and often a notice of default is sent out by your bank or mortgage company.

2.      Notice of Intent to Foreclose - a notice that the lender is required to send out pursuant to New Jersey Law. This notice must contain certain information.


3.      Foreclosure Complaint is filed in court. This is a type of law suit that the lender begins after time has passed since the Notice of Intent to Foreclosure. Along with the Complaint, a  Lis Pendens is filed with county clerk where the property is located.


4.      The Foreclosure Complaint is Served. Generally, the bank must effectuate "personal service" of the complaint, through delivery in person to you or a household member. If the bank cannot find you, they will try to use "substitute" service, such as service through publication in a newspaper. Therefore, if you did not receive a complaint in hand, it is still possible that a complaint was filed and that the foreclosure case has already begun.


5.      Once the Complaint is served on the homeowner (who is the "Defendant"), there is time allotted for to file an "Answer" in response.


6.      It is important to file an Answer and obtaining counsel to represent you prior to this will help ensure that they can assist you with filing an effective Answer.


7.      If no Answer is filed, Entry of Default (not the same as "Default" mentioned earlier) is made with the Court. This is what happens to the majority of foreclosure cases which are not defended.


8.      Next, a "Notice to Cure" is issued, giving time for the homeowner to cure the arrears. If no cure is made, an application for Final Judgement is made by the bank which sets the total amount owed.


9.    A Final Judgment application is submitted to the "Foreclosure Unit" in Trenton, which is a part of the court tasked with handling foreclosures. If the proofs submitted are sufficient, judgment is entered in favor of the bank and a Writ of Execution Issued. The Writ is what instructs the local county sheriff to sell the property on behalf of the bank.


10.  A Sheriff Sale is scheduled by the local county sheriff. Foreclosures are a source of income for the sheriff, which makes a commission from the sale.


11.  Sheriff Sale occurs, with either a 3rd party purchasing the property or the your bank/mortgage company taking the property back. The bank/mortgage company typically takes the house in cases where the debt owed on the mortgage is greater than the value of the house. In any case, you no longer own the home at this point.


12.  Eviction. After the sheriff sale is concluded, the new owner will schedule an eviction or ejectment. When the day of eviction arrives, the sheriff will physically remove the occupants and belongings from the house.