At the Law Office of Ira J. Metrick, we receive and review all notices our clients receive during the New Jersey Foreclosure Process, and we provide explanations of the notices and answer questions about how they affect the foreclosure process, including the Writ of Possession.
What is a Writ of Possession?
A Writ of Possession is an official court document that orders the sheriff to remove any occupants from a property that has been foreclosed and sold at a Sheriff Sale. If you are still living in your home after it has been sold, you will have to leave once a Writ of Possession has been enforced.
When is a Writ of Possession Issued?
There is a proper procedure that must be followed before you can be legally removed from your home following a Sheriff Sale.
- After the Sheriff Sale, there is a 10 day Right of Redemption period in which you, the homeowner, are allowed to pay the full amount due and reclaim the property. You can also file a motion to seek to set aside the Sheriff Sale any time before the deed is delivered to the new owner.
- Once 10 day redemption period has expired, and the new owner has paid the full purchase price, the Sheriff can deliver the deed to the new owner. (Many Sheriff’s Offices have a backlog, so this could take weeks.)
- The new owner will apply for a Writ of Possession, which gives the County Sheriff the authority to evict any occupants of the premises. Once the writ is obtained, the Sheriff will provide notice of the date the property must be vacated.
- A tenant with a valid lease has protection from removal by the new owner under the New Jersey Anti-Eviction Act, NJSA 2A:18-61.1 et seq.
- Barring any agreements between you and the new owner or an Order from the Court, you must vacate the premises by the date of the eviction, or you may be removed by the Sheriff. If you are removed by the Sheriff, the new owner of the property is required to put your belongings in storage for 30 days.
Here is an example of what a Writ of Possession will look like:
I Received a Writ of Possession. What Should I Do?
It is important to remember that this process must be followed before you can be legally removed from your home. The new owner is not allowed to change the locks on you before obtaining a Writ of Possession.
Even if a Writ has been issued, and you receive a notice from the Sheriff of the scheduled eviction date, you still have rights.
- You have a right to go to the Court and file a motion to ask the Judge to stay the eviction to give you more time to move. You should be prepared to provide valid reasons why the eviction should be stayed to give you more time.
- You have the right to file for Bankruptcy, as provided by federal law. In most circumstances, upon the filing of a Bankruptcy Petition, you will be entitled to the “Automatic Stay” which is an automatic injunction that may halt the eviction and other actions by creditors. In order to fully understand your options concerning Bankruptcy, you should seek a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine whether it is an option for you.
If the new owner of your home has locked you out before obtaining a Writ of Possession, or the eviction process has not been properly followed, we can help you understand your rights and options.
Each notice you receive can affect the foreclosure process. If you need to know what a specific notice means, the Law Office of Ira J. Metrick can assist you by explaining them to you. We also offer representation to receive all of your notices in our office, and then forward them to you with explanations.