With New Jersey securing the #1 spot for states with the greatest number of properties in foreclosure, Governor Murphy signed nine bills into law to manage what the New Jersey legislature views as an on-going foreclosure crisis. The bills largely address foreclosures on residential mortgages and leave the commercial foreclosure process alone.
Nevertheless, lenders seeking to enforce remedies against individual guarantors whose guarantees are secured by residential mortgages in New Jersey must pay close attention to the changes in the law.
Notable differences include:
- The codification of the New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation Program, which allows certain borrowers to participate in the mediation program
- The Notice of Intent to Foreclose must include additional provisions relating to foreclosure mediation and the availability of housing counseling
- The Notice of Intent to Foreclose expires after 6 months if no foreclosure or other legal action to take possession of residential property has been commenced
- More stringent reinstatement requirements and higher fees for foreclosure complaints dismissed without prejudice for lack of prosecution
- Shortened statutes of limitations for certain residential foreclosure actions
- Requirement for the filing of certain creditor contact information with the lis pendens and accelerated sale timeframes with respect to vacant properties
- Enhanced licensing requirements for mortgage servicers
When faced with a troubled credit, contacting experienced counsel with knowledge of state-specific law can give lenders a valuable edge in maximizing recovery.