New Jersey Mortgage foreclosures are processed over extended periods of time, usually taking a year or more. The standard foreclosure process, timeline and a brief explanation of their significance are outlined below.
The timeline and details below can be useful legal information – however, it is important to understand it is not legal advice. This outline of the mortgage foreclosure procedure in New Jersey can be useful to those who understand its limitations and destructive to those who do not.
Day 1: Initial review. Organize loan documents, order foreclosure searches and prepare and send out acceleration and demand letter.
Day 20: Receipt and review of foreclosure searches.
Day 27: Prepare complaint naming as defendants the mortgagor, holders of junior liens and any others with an interest in the property or who might be liable for the secured debt.
Day 38: After drafting complaint, submit to Chancery Track for review and approval. Chancery Track will review, file and process all foreclosure and judgment pleadings and at the end of the case issues a Certificate of Regularity, which ensures proper title.
Day 48: Receive filed copy of complaint.
Day 48: Prepare and mail for filing lis pendens to County Clerk.
Day 50: Prepare a summons to be served on each defendant with a copy of the complaint and forward all to a contractor who will make service.
Day 61: Receive filed lis pendens and order continuation searches.
Day 75: Review affidavits of service upon all defendants joined in complaint.
Day 90: Review continuation searches and amend complaint as necessary to add any additional parties who acquired interests between first search and date of filing of lis pendens.
Day 96: Submit amended complaint to Chancery Track for review. File complaint to join additional defendants revealed on continuation searches.
Day 98: Time to file an answer to complaint expires (35 days exclusive of date of service) for all defendants except State of New Jersey and United States of America.
Day 99: Receive filed copy of amended complaint.
Day 100: Prepare and mail service of process of amended complaint upon additional defendants by subpoena service company. Prepare certification of mailing amended complaint upon defendants previously served with complaint via regular mail and certified mail.
Day 105: Time to file an answer to complaint expires (60 days exclusive of date of service) for defendants except State of New Jersey and United States of America.
Day 115: Review affidavits of service upon additional defendants joined in amended complaint. Process payment to subpoena service company.
Day 115: Revise certification of mailing amended complaint to defendants. Review and assemble into said certification postmarked certified mail receipt slips and signed certified mailing green cards as proof of service.
Day 150: Time to file an answer to amended complaint expires (35 days exclusive of date of service) for all defendants except State of New Jersey and United States of America.
Day 175: Time to file an answer to amended complaint expires (60 days exclusive of date of service) for defendants State of New Jersey and United States of America.
Day 177: Prepare and submit for filing default package to Chancery Track for review. The package consists of affidavits of service and summons, notice to State of New Jersey, certification as to military status, certification of mailing amended complaint, certification of inquiry and request and certification of default.
Day 193: Receipt and mail filed copy of default to all defendants via regular mail. Prepare certification of mailing filed copy of default.
Day 195: In preparation for filing and serving motion for entry of final judgment, prepare and forward to lender to complete and sign a certification of amount due plaintiff. This needs to be in a specific form and contain specific information that is sometimes challenging to obtain from some lenders.
Day 202: Finalize certification of amount due plaintiff and prepare motion for entry of final judgment.
Day 203: Prepare and submit for filing motion and request for final judgment by default to Chancery Track for review. Full package to Foreclosure Unit consists of notice, motion, certification of amount due, certification re mortgage loan documents (need to see the originals or at least have a custodian’s certification), certification of mailing filed copy of default, certification of search fees and service fees, certification of counsel, final judgment and writ of execution. Assemble certified copies of loan documents to be marked as exhibits.
Day 229: Receive filed copy of final judgment package including the writ of execution to the Sheriff, and foreclosure service judgment package review and issuance of certificate of regularity.
Day 236: Mail via regular mail filed copies of final judgment to defendants. Prepare and file certification of mailing filed copy of final judgment.
Day 239: Prepare and submit writ of execution package to Chancery Track for review, then to Sheriff to process and schedule Sheriff’s sale consisting of writ of execution, concise legal description, announcements at sale, endorsement on writ, tax map and affidavit of consideration.
Day 241: Sheriff processes writ of execution package, schedules, posts and publishes Sheriff’s sale. (Sheriff publishes notice of Sheriff’s sale once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the date scheduled for sale.) Proofread notice of Sheriff’s sale prior to publication. Prepare and file certification of proof of mailing notice of Sheriff’s sale serving all defendants via regular mail and certified mail.
Day 257: First date scheduled for Sheriff’s sale (six to eight weeks from date of submission to Sheriff’s Office). Prepare letter to all defendants and serve via regular mail and certified mail giving notice of new date for Sheriff’s sale.
Day 257: Defendant’s first request for two-week statutory adjournment of sale. It is statutory and will be granted without question.
Day 271: Defendant’s second request for two-week statutory adjournment of sale – also statutory and will be granted without question.
Day 285: Sheriff’s sale held. (Read: Understanding How a NJ Foreclosure Sheriff Sale Works)
Day 295: Defendant’s 10-day right to challenge the sale or redeem expires.
Day 315: Sheriff prepares and mails to plaintiff’s counsel Sheriff’s deed (between 14 to 30 days after date of Sheriff’s sale).
Day 320: Review and mail Sheriff’s deed to County Clerk’s Office for recording and order title insurance policy to insure Sheriff’s deed.
Day 324: Receive, review and forward to client recorded Sheriff’s deed and title insurance policy insuring the Sheriff’s deed.