What is a New Jersey Mortgage Foreclosure Summons and Complaint?
The New Jersey mortgage foreclosure process starts when you receive a Notice of Intention to Foreclose from your lender. This is a notice that will come by regular and certified mail, and it will advise you that if you don’t pay the arrears within 30 days, the lender has the right to file a Complaint for Foreclosure. Most NJ homeowners cannot pay their arrears, and the next step is a Foreclosure Summons and Complaint.
You will know when the Complaint is filed because you will receive a bunch of advertisements from individuals and companies offering to help you save your home. The filing is public information and these companies pay for lists to obtain your name and address. Once you know the Complaint has been filed, you should expect a Process Server to come to the property and attempt to personally serve you with the Complaint. If they are unable to serve you personally, they will seek to serve you by mail or by publishing notice in a local newspaper.
- The Foreclosure Complaint is a lender’s way to advise the Court that they believe you have defaulted on your obligations and that they are permitted to sell the property at Sheriff Sale to try to get their money back. Foreclosure is an action for possession. They will include anyone and everyone that might have an ownership interest in the property, so that the Buyer at a Sheriff Sale will get good title to the property.
- The Foreclosure Summons explains the borrower’s rights, and informs them that they must file a Contesting Answer if they intend to fight the foreclosure. To properly defend a foreclosure in New Jersey, you MUST file a Contesting Answer within Thirty-Five (35) days of being served with the foreclosure summons and complaint. Additionally, the Summons is misleading. At the end of a foreclosure, the lender does not receive a money judgment that would permit them to levy your bank accounts or garnish your wages. The Judgment is for foreclosure, and only gives them the right to sell the property at a Sheriff Sale.
I Just Received a Foreclosure Summons and Complaint. What Should I Do?
If you receive a foreclosure summons and complaint, it is important to contact an experienced foreclosure attorney as soon as possible. If you intend to fight the foreclosure, it is very important to file a Contesting Answer within 35 days of receiving the complaint. If you have received a Foreclosure Complaint, please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation, where we can discuss:
- Filing a Contesting Answer to the foreclosure. We will carefully review your case and identify defenses to the foreclosure that will force your lender to prove that they have the right to foreclose on your home. We may also have the opportunity to file counter-claims against your lender for any violations on their part, including but not limited to:
- Real Estate Settlement Protection Act (RESPA) regulations;
- Truth in Lending Act (TILA) regulations;
- Refusing to honor your loan modification; or
- Refusing to accept your mortgage reinstatement payment.
- Applying for a loan modification. The best long term solution for an issue with your mortgage, is a mortgage loan modification. We can do an analysis to determine if you qualify for a modification and give you an estimate of what the new payment terms would be. If you qualify for a loan modification, you can change your mortgage payment plan and get back on track with your monthly payments. We can also represent you to apply for a modification, by using the new Federal Guidelines to ensure that the lender properly reviews your modification application. If your application is not properly reviewed, it is our goal to be in a position to bring a Federal lawsuit to obtain the modification, reimbursement of the attorney fees, plus damages.
If you receive a foreclosure summons and complaint in the mail, it is important to be proactive and take steps towards fighting the foreclosure right away. Contact us today to discuss your options.