Cherry Hill, NJ Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
New Jersey law provides homeowners with opportunities to mitigate their losses, and even to stop unlawful foreclosures. If you live in the sought-after areas in and around Cherry Hill, New Jersey, you shouldn’t give up your property without speaking to an attorney who can help you make informed decisions. There are laws designed to protect your rights throughout the foreclosure process. Depending on your circumstances, the process can be challenged at many levels, especially if the banks engage in deceptive and unfair practices that tend to lead borrowers into inevitable foreclosures. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference at the end of the day.
The attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates have helped hundreds of New Jerseyans fight to mitigate losses and prevent unfair foreclosures. They are known as relentless and compassionate advocates who will not stand for the abuses banks use against unsuspecting borrowers. Your initial consultation is free of charge and confidential. Call us at (609) 755-3115 to schedule a consultation, or contact us online.
How to Face Foreclosure in Cherry Hill, NJ
Foreclosure allows mortgage lenders to force the sale of a dwelling typically called “collateral” to a mortgage loan. New Jersey’s foreclosures are judicial. Judicial means foreclosures are legitimate only if administered in a court of law. The Office of Foreclosure, which is a unit of the New Jersey Superior Court, is where these cases are filed first.
Violations of foreclosure and mortgage laws can be raised as defenses to challenge the foreclosure. A defense means the foreclosed borrower proves rights have been infringed. The foreclosure can be quashed or voided when the lender is non-compliant with these laws. For example, there are servicing errors that can lead to foreclosure such as ignoring a grace period or failing to credit funds to the correct account.
Federal and New Jersey State Foreclosure Laws
There are a variety of state and federal laws designed to protect borrowers against abusive, deceptive, and misleading practices.
The Fair Foreclosure Act provides the rules lenders must follow before and during a foreclosure.
New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act protects consumers against unscrupulous and fraudulent practices. This statute is relevant in foreclosures when lenders engage in misleading or deceitful methods.
New Jersey’s Truth In Consumer Contracts, Warranty, and Notice Act, prohibits lenders from including contractual provisions, warranties, or notices in violation of established legal rights.
The Truth In Lending Act (“TILA”) also known as Regulation Z is a federal law warranting meaningful disclosure of credit terms. Consumers are entitled to information that gives them tools to avoid the uninformed use of credit. For example, a TILA violation can be used as a defense in a foreclosure action if the lender failed to provide required disclosures adequately.
Regulation X relates to amendments to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act known (“RESPA”), which prescribes specific disclosures and procedures in connection with the application, settlement, and servicing of mortgage loans.
The Unfair Deceptive Acts, Abusive Acts or Practices provision of the Federal Trade Commission Act requiring banks to protect consumers.
The Foreclosure Process in Cherry Hill, NJ
The home foreclosure process in New Jersey begins after a mortgage borrower fails to make several payments on the mortgage on their home. After the lender sends notice to the homeowner about their unpaid debt, the mortgage will go into default.
Following the nonpayment of the mortgage, the borrower will receive a Notice of Intention to Foreclose. This notice usually arrives after the mortgage borrower fails to make mortgage payments for three months. After receiving the Notice of Intention to Foreclose, the homeowner will have 30 days to respond to the notice and catch up on their payments.
If the mortgage borrower fails to do anything about their Notice of Intention to Foreclose, then the lender will file a lawsuit against them with the New Jersey Office of Foreclosure. Once the lawsuit has been filed, the mortgage borrower will be known as the “defendant” and the lender will be known as the “plaintiff.”
Notice of the foreclosure complaint must be served to the mortgage borrower in person, accompanied by a summons to appear in court for a hearing about the foreclosure. At this time, the homeowner will also receive information about participation in a mediation program. The homeowner must reply within 35 days, and their reply must be in the form of a legal document either admitting to or denying the claims made in the complaint.
Then, the homeowner will receive notice of the sale of their property. They will have 10 days to file a motion objecting to the sale of their home. After the property has been sold, New Jersey residents have the right to redeem or recover their foreclosed property, though doing so requires that the homeowner pay the full amount of the judgment in addition to taxes, assessments, and repairs.
The Notice of Intention to Foreclose
A Notice of Intention to Foreclose is the first step the lender takes to before the judicial process is begun. It gives debtors 30 days to bring mortgage payments current.
Answering the Foreclosure Complaint
The lender can file a complaint with the Office of Foreclosure within 30 days of certified receipt of the Notice of Intention to Foreclose. You will be called the “defendant.” The foreclosing lender must serve you with summons or notice to appear at a hearing.
New Jersey offers an option to participate in the mediation program where the parties can negotiate a loan modification, forbearance, or other arrangement to catch up the loan payments. The mediation doesn’t stop foreclosure and must be accepted within 60 days after the complaint is received.
There are 35 days to answer the Foreclosure Complaint. The legal answer is a formal document prepared in response to the assertions made against you in the complaint. If you oppose the allegations made in the complaint, you must prove these assertions initially in the answer and subsequently at trial.
If you don’t answer the complaint, the court can issue an official order known as a writ of execution. This order approves the foreclosure and instructs the sheriff to sell the house at public auction. You are entitled to a notice of sale’s date and time.
Objecting a Foreclosure Sale in Cherry Hill, NJ
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. This 10-day period can give extra time until the court issues the order approving the sale.
New Jersey provides homeowners with the right to redeem or recover the property after a foreclosure sale is executed. You must be prepared to pay the full amount of the judgment, plus interest, costs, and reasonable expenses that the purchaser incurred including taxes, assessments, prior liens, and necessary repairs.
When responding to a foreclosure complaint, New Jersey residents have the opportunity to cite any unfair lending practices. An experienced foreclosure attorney can help homeowners facing foreclosure to understand the possible defenses they will be able to make to prevent a foreclosure from happening. The possible defenses that homeowners facing foreclosure can make are:
- Lender fraud – It is possible that your lender committed fraud at the time that they issued your loan. According to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, lenders can be liable for triple damages and attorney fees.
- Lack-of-note defense – In some foreclosure cases, the lender that is enacting the foreclosure is not authorized to do so. If the loan was transferred to another servicer, then the original servicer will not be able to pursue foreclosure on the home.
- Truth in lending law violations – When the mortgage was issued to the borrower, it is possible that the lender violated truth in lending laws. If so, they will not be able to foreclose upon your home. Furthermore, the lender may be liable for damages to the borrower.
- Servicing violations – Mortgage servicers are required by law to follow rules regarding loan servicing and modification. Lenders will be unable to foreclose on homes if they violated these requirements.
Call Our Cherry Hill, New Jersey Foreclosure Attorneys
Legitimate and reliable counsel can make a difference in the outcome of a foreclosure. A seasoned foreclosure attorney can fight the abusive, misleading, and deceptive practices of banks if a trial is necessary. Moreover, there are fraudulent schemes targeting debtors in distress, offering implausible loan modification and mitigation offers. Lawyers can negotiate the best terms for you and protect against fraudulent schemes.
A skilled foreclosure defense attorney can help through this trying time. It’s important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced foreclosure lawyer how to best approach this process. The attorneys of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates will fight for your rights so that you can make informed and financially sound decisions. Call (609) 755-3115 for a free consultation.