New Jersey Foreclosure Process
The New Jersey Supreme Court has adopted a set of new and revised rules on mortgage foreclosure procedures designed to modernize the foreclosure practice in the face of the real estate crisis gripping the nation and New Jersey in general.
Going forward, all foreclosing plaintiffs will be required to file a foreclosure specific case information statement with its first pleadings. In addition, the new rules will require that the foreclosing party serve an affidavit of the amount due along with a Notice of Motion requesting final judgment of foreclosure.
The advisory committee on foreclosure practice in its statement believes that this rule amendment will put lenders, borrowers, and other parties on notice of this specific amount due and how it was calculated.
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MEDIATION EXPANDS STATEWIDE
Foreclosure filings in New Jersey during the past 12 months are up 46 percent over the previous 12 months, and this has spurred the NJ Supreme Court to expand an experimental mediation program statewide. Under the program, the courts will compel mediation between homeowner and mortgage holder any time the owner contests foreclosure of the residence.
The goal is to renegotiate terms and keep owners in their house. The courts will encourage non-contesting homeowners to change their mind, right up to the date of the sheriff’s sale. The program will begin in the highest foreclosure vicinages – Essex, Union, Camden, Bergen and Hudson – and expand to all 21 counties.
Foreclosing Bank Denied Legal Fees and Costs
In a foreclosure, a plaintiff cannot recover counsel fees against a homeowner or borrower in foreclosure actions prior to filing the foreclosure complaint.
A recent decision has been rendered by the Appellate Division clarifying when a foreclosing plaintiff can recover counsel fees in a foreclosure action.
The New Jersey Appellate Division of the Superior Court ruled that the Fair Foreclosure Act which references the New Jersey Rules is a specific limitation on the amount of attorney’s fees a lender can recover. New Jersey court rules bar the recovery of any amount of attorney’s fees unless a Court rule expressly permits those fees. It was clear to the court that attorney’s fees to the lender are permitted only when the lender actually files a foreclosure complaint and not before.
The case is significant because in many instances, lenders will impose counsel fees and costs incurred prior to the filing of a foreclosure complaint. This practice has been seldom challenged but with this decision, lenders will no longer be able to charge counsel fees as a condition to reinstating the mortgage unless it has filed a complaint and then has agreed to settle with the defaulting borrower.
Fredrick P. Niemann and the attorneys in his firm have developed the experience to become aggressive short sales negotiators and are currently in demand as residential real estate values continue to decline. The short sale attorney’s role is pivotal to the success of most short sales.
For more information
Call Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at email@example.com today.
Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a New Jersey Foreclosure Law Attorney