What is a New Jersey Motion to Stay Sheriff Sale?
A New Jersey Motion to Stay Sheriff Sale is a written request to the Court in your County to ask a Judge to temporarily halt Sheriff Sale. Generally, these motions are filed on an emergent basis on or near the day of the sale. However, if you know in advance that you need to ask for a stay of the Sheriff Sale, you can file the motion weeks in advance.
Here is a quick rundown of the NJ Sheriff Sale process to give you an idea of when you would file this document:
- Once your mortgage lender (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc.) has obtained a final judgment in the foreclosure, they can schedule a Sheriff Sale.
- The Sheriff of the county in which the property is located must publish notice of the sale for four (4) consecutive weeks in a local newspaper and post notice on the property.
- Homeowners have the right to two (2) adjournments of the Sheriff Sale. Each adjournment is for up to 30 days.
- Once both adjournments have been used, a homeowner can still attempt to stop the sale by filing a Motion to Stay Sheriff Sale with the judge.
Here is a link to the NJ Court’s form for a motion to Stay the Sheriff Sale:
Learn more about the NJ Sheriff Sale process.
Under What Circumstances Can I Stay a Sheriff Sale?
While the two adjournments are every homeowner’s right and do not require a specific reason to be used, a stay is usually only granted under special circumstances.
A stay of sheriff sale may be granted if:
- You are being reviewed for a loan modification.
- You are in the process of selling the property.
- You need time to be able to pay the bank and stop the foreclosure.
- Your lender has failed to follow proper foreclosure procedures and has violated your rights as a borrower, for example:
- Pursuing a foreclosure or sheriff sale while your loan modification application is still being reviewed (also known as Dual Tracking).
- Refusing to honor or review your loan modification.
- Not responding to your loan modification application within 30 days.
- Refusing to accept your mortgage payment or mortgage reinstatement.
- Declaring you in default and threatening foreclosure even though you are up to date on your payments.
- There is an environmental issue affecting the value of the property. In many cases, your lender will be the one buying back the property at the sheriff sale. If there is a problem with the property, your lender may be hesitant to proceed with the sheriff sale and buy it back. Rather than take on the responsibility of fixing the issue and/or informing a new buyer, your lender may be willing to work with you and let you stay in your home. These issues can include, but are not limited to:
- A buried oil tank with a leak.
- A high likelihood of flooding.
- A soil contamination issue.
- The presence of lead paint or asbestos.
- A termite infestation, or other pest infestation.
Once the Sale is Stayed, What Should I Do?
It is important to note that a stay of sheriff sale is only a temporary solution, and you will still need to find a permanent way to stop the foreclosure and stay in your home.
At the law office of Ira J. Metrick, we can help you stop a sale and defend the foreclosure. We can also conduct a thorough analysis of your eligibility for a loan modification. We can determine if you are eligible for a loan modification and give you an estimate of what the new payment terms will be.