If you’re a resident of New Jersey or just a lover of New Jersey foreclosure statistics, you are most likely well aware the beautiful Garden State is one of the five states that has posted double-digit increases in foreclosure starts in the United States (joined by Florida, New York, Indiana, and Mississippi).
The not-so-recent outbreak of COVID-19 has hit residents of New Jersey hard, with over 210,00 cases and 16,000 deaths. Each and every one of these tragedies has made maintaining a job and keeping up with mortgage payments harder––if not impossible.
If you are missing your mortgage payments and wondering what the foreclosure process in New Jersey looks like, you’re not alone. We at Templar Real Estate Enterprises are here to walk you through every step of the way to make sure you come out on top.
This all starts with having a solid understanding of the foreclosure process in New Jersey and your options.
The Foreclosure Timeline
1: Before It Begins
Typically, you don’t have to worry about foreclosure unless you miss three mortgage payments; however, legally, your mortgage lender can officially begin the process after just one missed payment and 120 days of delinquency.
Don’t worry, though. You will not be kicked out immediately. Your mortgage lender must send you a Notice of Intention to Foreclose through the certified mail at least at least 30 days before they file their complaint.
Their complaint includes multiple statements informing you of your rights and responsibilities. This information will include how much you must pay to avoid foreclosure, resources to help you cure the default, and––more importantly––the right for you to sell your property during the foreclosure process.
Once you receive this complaint, you will have 35 days from the date you are served to file an answer (also known as a response) with the Office of Foreclosure. Here is where you admit or deny to the faults issued in the complaint.
The Office of Foreclosure will determine if you have a contesting or non-contesting answer. This, of course, will determine how your foreclosure process will go forward. If you have problems with the foreclosure claim, you can file a contesting answer.
This is why it is important to freshen up on the laws that can prevent you from foreclosure. After this, the foreclosure process begins.
2: The Foreclosure Process
In uncontested cases, the next step is to seek judgment against you, the occupant of the foreclosed property. The final judgment will typically be sent to the property owner––or the one who filed the complaint in the first place.
Before the judge officially declares the decision with the court, a final notice will be sent to you to cure the balance. After the complaint is officially filed, and if you do not qualify for Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the process typically moves to a writ of execution.
If this is approved––and it typically is in New Jersey––the County Sheriff can legally sell your property to the highest bidder at sheriff’s sale. You will receive a notice of this, and there will be something posted in the newspaper.
3. Selling a Foreclosed Property
You have the opportunity to request a two-week delay of the sheriff’s sale, however, you will have to pay a $50 fee and file a request with the court. No matter what, though, New Jersey law states that the sale must happen within 150 days.
The amount won at this auction is paid back to the mortgage owner for the money they lost when you defaulted on payments. If it sells for less than what you owe, the mortgage owner can potentially sue you for the additional amount. If it sells for more than you owe, you will be paid the difference.
What To Do With Your Foreclosed Property
The foreclosure process in New Jersey is unfortunate and is hopefully something you never have to go through. If you do, however, and you need to sell your house fast to an honest real estate company, call Templar Real Estate Enterprises.
We are a New Jersey-based company who are experts in the foreclosure process, and all things real estate. We are here to help you through every step of the way––even if you don’t sell to us! Contact us today at 973-240-8593.