New Jersey Expedited Foreclosure Basics
On April 1, 2013 N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73 created an Expedited Foreclosure Procedure in the State of New Jersey. Under this statute a Lender may commence a Summary Action to foreclose upon a mortgage secured by residential real property where it is determined that the mortgaged premises is “vacant and abandoned.” Where an action has already been commenced under the Regular or Optional Procedure, a Lender may file an application via motion to proceed in a summary manner.
Determining if a Property is “Vacant and Abandoned”
In order to be deemed “Vacant and Abandoned” by the court the mortgaged premises must be un-occupied by a mortgagor or tenant with a lawful lease. This lack of occupancy cannot be because the result or seasonal occupancy or construction/renovation. In addition, the property cannot be a timeshare. In addition, Lender’s counsel must prove to the court that at least two (2) of the following conditions exist:
- Overgrown or neglected vegetation;
- The accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers or mail on the property;
- Disconnected gas, electric, or water utility services to the property;
- The accumulation of hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials on the property;
- The accumulation of junk, litter, trash or debris on the property;
- The absence of window treatments such as blinds, curtains or shutters;
- The absence of furnishings and personal items;
- Statements of neighbors, delivery persons, or government employees indicating that the residence is vacant and abandoned;
- Windows or entrances to the property that are boarded up or closed off or multiple window panes that are damaged, broken and unrepaired;
- Doors to the property that are smashed through, broken off, unhinged, or continuously unlocked;
- A risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public or any adjoining or adjacent property owners, exists due to acts of vandalism, loitering, criminal conduct, or the physical destruction or deterioration of the property;
- An uncorrected violation of a municipal building, housing or similar code during the preceding year, or an order by municipal authorities declaring the property to be unfit for occupancy and to remain vacant and unoccupied;
- The mortgagee or other authorized party has secured or winterized the property due to the property being deemed vacant and unprotected or in danger of freezing;
- A written statement issued by any mortgagor expressing the clear intent of all mortgagors to abandon the property;
- Any other reasonable indicia of abandonment.
Primary Benefits of Using the Expedited Foreclosure Procedure for “Vacant and Abandoned” Properties
Shorter Timeline to Judgment – Under the Expedited Procedure the lender can skip certain time consuming steps including but not limited to the Notice to Cure and Requests for Default.
Shorter Time from Judgment to Sale – In a Regular Foreclosure Action the Sheriff is to schedule a foreclosure auction within one hundred and twenty (120) days from receipt of the signed writ of execution. Under the Expedited Foreclosure Statute, the Sheriff is to sell the property within sixty (60) days of receipt of a signed writ of execution.