The Foreclosure Process in New Jersey

January 6th, 2008 9:35 AM by


In New Jersey, the foreclosure process takes about nine months and offers many opportunities for debtors to stave off the proceedings. At least 30 days before starting the foreclosure process, the lender must send a letter to the borrower warning of the anticipated foreclose, according to RealtyTrac, a national Web site of the real-estate industry.The letter must state the amount of money needed to settle the default. The borrower then has the opportunity to pay off the amount in default and head off the foreclosure.

If the amount is not paid, the lender then starts the foreclosure process through the Superior Court court system by filing a lis pendens, a notice of an impending lawsuit, with the county clerk.

In the lawsuit, the lender can sue for either the amount of money in default or the entire unpaid principal of the mortgage.After the suit is filed, the borrower has at least 35 days to respond or the court will enter a judgment. If the court rules against the borrower, then the date of the sheriff's sale will be scheduled. The notice of the sale must be posted on the property and published in local newspapers.

The property owner also must be notified at least 10 days before the sale. The foreclosure sales are conducted as public auctions. The lender opens the sale with a bid of $100, and the bidding proceeds in $1,000 increments, Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano said. The successful bidder most post a deposit of at least 20 percent of the winning bid at the close of the auction. The balance is due within 30 days from the date of the auction. If the balance is not paid within 30 days, the buyer may lose the deposit, and additional time will not be granted to obtain a mortgage.

The buyer will receive a sheriff's deed when full payment is received by the sheriff's office. But the deed may not give clear title to the property.In order for the buyer to obtain clear title to the property, all, liens, taxes and other encumbrances must be satisfied. In most cases, the property can be redeemed by the former owner within 10 days of the auction. In some cases, the owner also can declare bankruptcy and the sale is put on hold until the bankruptcy is processed through the courts.

The buyer has the responsibility to have any occupants of the property legally evicted. Eviction proceedings only can be done through a Superior Court order.-- MICHAEL DEAK
Posted in:General
Posted by on January 6th, 2008 9:35 AM



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