New Jersey Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you know is facing a looming or an existing foreclosure process, a seasoned New Jersey foreclosure defense lawyer can make a difference in the outcome. Foreclosures are challenging and stressful events that can lead to loss and eviction of the home you cherish. New Jersey has enacted laws specifically designed to help people facing foreclosure. There are critical steps that can lead to the mitigation of financial losses and extend the time available to negotiate an income fitting loan modification. There are also legal remedies that can make it possible to recover the home after it’s sold at a sheriff’s sale. No one should lose a home and be chased later for a deficiency judgment, which is the amount you may responsible for paying if the sheriff’s sale of the foreclosed property doesn’t satisfy your debt.
The law firm Young Marr & Associates has skilled foreclosure defense lawyers with an unwavering commitment to helping you obtain the best results possible. Your initial consultation is free of charge and confidential. Call us at (609) 755-3115 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.
Mortgage Foreclosure Defense in New Jersey
Foreclosure is the legal process that allows lenders to receive court approval to force the sale of a property attached to or collateral of a delinquent mortgage loan. New Jersey’s foreclosures are judicial, which means the process is administered through a court of law.
While the average New Jersey foreclosure can take between 8 to 10 months, time literally means mounting expenses for the borrower who has fallen behind in payments already. Foreclosure defense lawyers can have a significant impact in possibly:
- Mitigating penalties, damages, interests, and other fines that can accrue over time.
- Preventing or mitigating the risk of a deficiency judgment that typically seeks payment of the debt remaining if a foreclosure sale doesn’t cover the balance owed in the mortgage.
Federal and State Foreclosure Laws in New Jersey
There is a rich body of laws intended to protect borrowers who fall under difficult financial circumstances. Foreclosure laws can help establish “defenses” in order to protect New Jersey borrowers against usurious and abusive lenders. There are important legal rights connected to the lender’s actions in compliance with federal and state laws. Defenses expose actions where the lender may have dismissed or blatantly violated laws constituting abuses, servicing errors, and wrongful or fraudulent practices. For example, charging excessive fees is illegal in New Jersey, especially if there is abuse, misleading acts, or lack of notice of these high fees.
Foreclosure defense can also provide critical time to work out a loan modification, to conduct a short sale, or to bring the loan payments current. If these arrangements don’t work and the court deems there are valid questions, then a trial may be held to review the questions raised in the answer to the foreclosure complaint.
State Foreclosure Laws
- The Fair Foreclosure Act provides the rules lenders must follow before and during foreclosure.
- New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act protects consumers against unconscionable and fraudulent practices.
- New Jersey’s Truth In Consumer Contracts, Warranty, and Notice Act prohibits lenders from including provisions in a contract, warranty, or notice that violate clearly established legal rights.
Federal Foreclosure Laws
- The Truth In Lending Act (“TILA”), also known as Regulation Z, defines that meaningful disclosure of credit terms is a protected legal right. Consumers are entitled to information that gives them information avoid bad credit decisions. A TILA violation can be raised as a defense in a foreclosure action if the lender failed to provide the required disclosures.
- Regulation X is the common term for amendments to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act known (“RESPA”). Specific disclosures and procedures are required during the application, settlement, and servicing of mortgage loans.
A Breakdown of the New Jersey Foreclosure Process
Notice of Intention to Foreclose
A Notice of Intention to Foreclose gives 30 days to catch up with late payments. This letter precedes the official foreclosure filing.
The Foreclosure Complaint and Mediation Program Option
The lender must file the complaint with the Office of Foreclosure. You will be called “defendant” in this complaint. The lender must personally serve you with summons or notice to appear in person at a specific date and time for a hearing. The option to participate in the mediation program will be included with the foreclosure complaint. There are 60 days to request mediation. But agreeing to mediation doesn’t stop foreclosure.
The Answer to the Foreclosure Complaint
You have 35 days to answer the Foreclosure Complaint. The legal answer is a formal document filed in response to the foreclosing lender’s claims. The answer is where you deny or admit the assertions or charges alleged against you in the complaint. The foreclosure will proceed if your answer doesn’t oppose the lender’s allegations with valid arguments.
Defenses available must be included in the answer. This means you must state the reasons why the lender doesn’t have a valid claim. When this happens, the case will be transferred to the superior court unit near your home and assigned to a judge who will set a trial date.
If you don’t answer the complaint and you’re not able to repay the debt in arrears, the court can issue what is known as a writ of execution ordering the sale of the property. A notice stating the date and time of the sale must be sent to you.
Filings Required to Object a Foreclosure in New Jersey
There is a 10-day period during which the homeowner can file a motion objecting to the sale. A “motion” is an official written statement compliant with court rules.
Challenges for the embattled borrowers don’t end with foreclosure. New Jersey provides homeowners with the right to redeem if the lender obtains a post-foreclosure deficiency judgment. The deficiency payment request must be filed within three months after the foreclosure sale or after confirmation of the sale. This is a separate lawsuit or court filing to reckon with.
Call Our New Jersey Foreclosure Attorney Today
Foreclosure actions can be incredibly overwhelming, and there are a lot of mistakes, and unjust lender’s conduct an experienced can professional identify while there is time available to fight the foreclosure. The attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates can help you make informed and financially sound decisions. Call today at (609) 755-3115 for a free and confidential consultation.