New Jersey Regular Foreclosure Basics
Before commencing a mortgage foreclosure action in New Jersey, Plaintiff’s attorney will order a Foreclosure Certificate from a Title Company. A Foreclosure Certificate is similar to a Title Search and consists of information regarding ownership of mortgaged premises, the legal description of the mortgaged premises, a list of mortgages and assignments of record, a tax and assessment search and a judgment search.
Upon receipt, the attorney will review the Foreclosure Certificate and clear title if necessary. In addition, the attorney will review the judgment search and list of mortgages to determine necessary defendants. A foreclosure complaint and notice of pendency will both be filed shortly thereafter with the County in which the mortgaged premises is located. Along with the Complaint, the mortgagee’s attorney must file Certifications that Rules 1:38-7(b), 1:4-8(a), 4:5-1(b)(2), 4:64-1(a) and 4:64-2 have been complied with.
Once the attorney confirms that the Foreclosure Complaint has been filed, a copy of the Summons and Complaint will be sent to a service processor for service upon all named defendants. Service generally should take approximately thirty days. Upon receipt of the Return of Service, the foreclosing attorney will file the affidavits through New Jersey’s e-filing system called JEFIS.
The matter now enters what is known as the “house-keeping” or “clean-up” stage, where Plaintiff’s counsel will perform administrative functions such as defaulting non-answering defendants and amending the caption to remove unnecessary fictitious defendants. Once all defaults have been entered and filed and the caption is corrected, Plaintiff will send a 14 Day Notice to Cure. This Notice will state that should the Defendant fail to respond to the same with a certification indicating cure (aka reinstatement) will likely occur within the next 45 days, the Plaintiff may file a Judgment Packet within 14 days. Should the Plaintiff not receive a certification, a Judgment Packet will be submitted to the court for review. Note that there is an Optional Foreclosure Procedure where a public auction is not required. Under this Optional Procedure, Plaintiff would submit an Order of Redemption prior to the Judgment Packet. For more information regarding this procedure please click here.
Once the Order submitted along with the Judgment Packet is signed, Plaintiff may move forward with the public auction. Plaintiff will deliver the Judgment and a Writ of Execution to the County’s Sheriff and sale is to be scheduled within 120 days.