Summary of New Jersey's Foreclosure Laws

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If you are facing foreclosure in New Jersey, it’s important to understand some of the basics, including:

  • the most common type of foreclosure procedure (judicial v. nonjudicial) used in New Jersey
  • how much time you have to respond
  • your rights and protections in the process, and
  • what happens afterwards (for example, whether you’ll be liable for a deficiency judgment).

Below we have outlined some of the most important features of New Jersey foreclosure law. Keep in mind that this is just a summary; we’ve included statute citations so you can get more details from the laws themselves. And be sure to check out Nolo’s extensive Foreclosure section, where you can find information about all aspects of foreclosure, definitions of foreclosure terms (like redemption and reinstatement), and options to avoid foreclosure.

Topic

State Rule

Most common type of foreclosure process

Judicial

Notice of the foreclosure

Foreclosing party must send notice of intention to foreclose, by registered or certified mail, to borrower 30 days before filing a foreclosure lawsuit. Foreclosing party then serves borrower summons and complaint. The foreclosing party must mail the borrower a notice 14 days before applying for final judgment giving one final chance to cure the default. Borrower may then get an additional 45 days to cure the default if he or she responds to the notice. Notice of sale must be mailed to homeowner (and all parties who appeared in the action) at least ten days before sale, as well as posted on the property and in the sheriff’s office, and published in two newspapers for four weeks.

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Available up to date of final judgment of foreclosure. Judgment may be delayed for 45 days if borrower needs extra time to reinstate.

Redemption after sale

Within the ten-day period after the sale, and up until the court issues an order confirming the sale if objections to the sale are filed. Also, if mortgage holder obtains a deficiency judgment, borrower can bring action for redemption within six months after deficiency judgment is entered. However, if you file an answer to the deficiency judgment lawsuit to dispute the deficiency, you lose the right to redeem.

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages

Foreclosure must be filed in court. Home Ownership Security Act, N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 46:10B-26(k).

Special state protections for service members

New Jersey law provides protections similar to the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. For example, a service member can potentially stay (postpone) court proceedings and the period of military service is not included in the redemption period. The law applies to service members on federal active duty or in state military service pursuant to the governor’s orders. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 38:23C-1 to 38:23C-26

Deficiency judgments

May be obtained by filing a separate lawsuit within three months of sale or, if confirmation of the sale is required, from the date of the confirmation of the sale; court can limit amount to difference between debt and fair market value.

Cash exempted in bankruptcy

About $12,725 for one person, $25,450 for a married couple under federal bankruptcy exemptions. $1,000 under state bankruptcy exemptions

Notice to leave after house is sold

If the foreclosed homeowners do not leave after the foreclosure, the new owner (usually the foreclosing party) applies for writ of possession from the court.

Foreclosure statutes

N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2A:50-1 to 2A:50-21, 2A:50-53 to
2A:50-63

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