Category:

NJ Foreclosure Process 2017

May 31st, 2016 by

New Jersey Foreclosure Guide – click here

This pamphlet is for informational purposes only, not for the purpose of providing legal advice. It is not a guarantee of a particular result.  This pamphlet should not be construed as an offer to provide legal services and your receipt and or review of this document does not create an attorney client relationship.  You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Since the housing bubble burst in late 2007, foreclosures have spiked across the country.  New Jersey was especially hard hit and is one of the few states in the union that continues to see an increase in foreclosure actions even now, almost ten years later.

Among the causes of  New Jersey’s continued foreclosure crisis is the complexity of the State’s foreclosure process.  New Jersey is a “judicial foreclosure” state – meaning all foreclosure actions must be prosecuted by attorneys before judges in the court system.  This structure is intended to impose a level of due diligence on lenders and assure an accurate disposition on the merits of a lender’s claim.  The result however, is a bloated legal field that incentivizes cutting corners and rushed, even if not prompt, resolutions.

This is why a proper foreclosure defense is so important.  The homeowner is the only person who understands their situation and truly cares about their home.  Therefore they must be the one to stand up for their rights.

The problem for many individuals is that the system is confusing, complicated, and overwhelming.  The average homeowner is not a legal expert, nor do they truly have the resources to understand a growing and nuanced area of the law.  The internet is rife with foreclosure defense theories – some of which worked in 2007, some of which work now, some that work in other states, and some that never had a shot.  The key to asserting a proper defense is understanding your rights, your lender’s obligations, how the court system works, and the rules, statutes, and case law that control everything.

The following pamphlet attempts to summarize that information based on our representation of hundreds of foreclosure clients in New Jersey over the course of the last eight years.  The pamphlet outlines the anticipated foreclosure process when you retain the attorneys at Denbeaux & Denbeaux for your foreclosure defense.  This outline does not hold true in every case, nor are the suggested timelines guaranteed.  Rather, we offer this information to hopefully provide some clarity as your case progresses.

When you retain Denbeaux & Denbeaux, you are retaining a team of individuals as advocates for your cause.  In your foreclosure matter, that team is led by Joshua Denbeaux .  Joshua will be primarily responsible for your case and will at all times be kept abreast of your litigation.  Day to day, your case will be managed by one or more associate attorneys.  Those attorneys will work together, with the assistance of our talented support staff, to advocate on your behalf.

Best Practices

  1. Communication – it is imperative that you communicate with your lawyer. Often times nothing will happen with your case for weeks on end.  However, if you ever want an update on where your case stands, you should not hesitate to reach out to the firm.  Equally important is to be responsive when the firm reaches out to you.  There may be instances during the litigation where we need a prompt response from you in order to advocate on your behalf.  Non-communication could cause irreparable harm to your case.
  2. Document management – You should provide every letter, notice, communication you receive from your lender or servicer to your lawyer. Often times it will be meaningless, but you should let your lawyer make that call.
  3. Records – Keep good notes about everything that happens in regard to your loan; who you spoke to, when, and about what. Again, it may ultimately be irrelevant, but it may also be the key to a valid defense to the foreclosure – let your lawyer decide.
  4. Time Management – Don’t procrastinate. Sticking your head in the sand is the easiest way to lose your rights.
  5. Finance Management – While the foreclosure action is progressing, you will not be actively paying your mortgage. You should use this opportunity to save the money you would otherwise be paying to your lender and begin to repair your finances.

New Jersey Foreclosure Process – 2017 – Summary

Notice of Intent to Foreclose (“NOI”):

Permitted any time after default (generally sent 3 months or more after default)

Will state the lender’s intent to foreclose, will identify the lender, and will state the current amount owed.

The Foreclosure Complaint:

Filed at least 30 days after receipt of the NOI

The Complaint is the formal initiation of a foreclosure action.  It must be served on each Defendant (including the Homeowner) within six months of filing.

The Answer:

Must be filed within 35 days of the Defendant’s receipt of the complaint

The Answer is either “Contesting” – it challenges the Plaintiff’s right to foreclose – or “Non-Contesting”.

Case Management Conference (“CMC”):

Scheduled approximately 1 – 2 months after filing the answer

Court conference where the Judge will set deadlines and dates for the case.

Discovery:

Generally, must be completed within 2-4 months of the CMC

The exchange of information relevant to the case between the parties.

Motion for Summary Judgment:

Must be heard at least 30 days before trial

A motion asking the court to determine that, as a matter of law, Plaintiff has the right to foreclose and the trial is unnecessary.

Trial:

Set by the court, usually within 5 – 10 months of the CMC

If the matter is not disposed of by way of a dispositive (i.e. Summary Judgment) motion, the court will conduct a trial.

If the homeowner is successful at trial, the Complaint is dismissed and the bank must start over.

If the Court grants the Plaintiff’s MSJ or the Plaintiff is successful at trial, then the homeowner’s answer is stricken, and the process proceeds as follows:

Fair Foreclosure Act Notice:

May be sent any time after answer is stricken, usually within a month of the Order striking the Answer. 

This notice informs you that the bank is prepared to move for Final Judgment and that you must let them know within 10 days whether or not within 45 days you will be able to redeem (pay back what you owe in its entirety).

Final Judgment Application:

Served on homeowner at least 14 days after your receipt of the FFA Notice

This is Plaintiff’s application to set the amount due by you to the bank. You have 10 days to object to this motion, if it contains an error.

Final Judgment Order:

Entered no less than 10 days after receipt of the FJ Application, often a month or longer depending on the Court’s caseload   

This Order sets the amount due to the Plaintiff and gives the County Sherriff permission to conduct a Sherriff’s Sale.

Sheriff Sale:

Generally scheduled 1 – 2 months after entry of final judgment

The sale of the house to the bank or third party – this is NOT THE EVICTION DATE.  You will be provided at least 10 days’ notice and may adjourn the sale a total of 4 weeks.

Eviction:

            Held a month or more after the sheriff sale

The eviction date is the date by which you must be out of the house.

DISCLAIMER: This pamphlet is for informational purposes only, not for the purpose of providing legal advice, nor is it a guarantee of a particular result.  This pamphlet should not be construed as an offer to provide legal services and your receipt and or review of this document does not create an attorney client relationship.  You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Podcast: Paul Kiel of Pro Publica on Consumer Debt Crisis

May 31st, 2016 by

Paul Kiel, is a journalist with Pro Publica and an authority on the topic of consumer debt in America.

He is author of the ” The Great America Foreclosure Story” on Kindle, how two people’s lives were impacted by the foreclosure crisis and the process of the financial system that created it.

More recently Paul has focused on the inner workings of the debt collection industry and plays a key role in the Pro Publica ongoing series entitled “The Unforgiven: the Long Life of Debt.”

He’s spoken on the subject on NPR – National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” and today he discusses the topic of the consumer debt industry with Adam Deutcsh, Esq on the FCRT.

How Do I Know if I Have a Claim to Sue Pressler and Pressler?

May 24th, 2016 by

If you feel that you have a claim against Pressler we will need certain information from you preferably before we actually speak:

  1. all documents you have received from Pressler;
  2. if Pressler sued you, the docket number of the complaint;
  3. a description of your situation and Pressler’s conduct in trying to collect the debt.
  4. Send this info to [email protected] and put Pressler Case – and your last name in the Subject line.

Is this A Class Action Suit?

No. We are not engaged in a class action and we are certainly not defending a class against Pressler. We are pursuing individual claims arising out of bad faith collection practices by Pressler and/or its client(s).

Are all lawsuits by Pressler fraudulent?

No. That said,in 2014, Pressler obtained over 50,000 judgments in New Jersey Courts.  It is clear from the recent finding by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that Pressler is less than careful when it comes to collecting money.  Please get us all communications you still have from Pressler and the docket number of the suit that Pressler filed against you.

How Do I Know if I Have a Claim Against Pressler?

You might have a claim.  In order for us to review your case, we will need your addressthe docket number of the complaint filed by Pressler and as much of the communication you sent to and received from Pressler as you saved.

What is the DEBT was more than six years old?

Please reach out to my firm right away.  The statute of limitations on most debts is only six years.  If they collected on a debt that was more than 20 years old, their attempts to collect the debt may violate federal law.

What if there is an Existing Judgement?

Existing judgments might be actionable. In order to determine whether the existing judgment in your credit report is inaccurate, we need to see that you did satisfy the judgment and that it still appears on your credit report. You should contact us so we can guide you as to best how to do this.

Please let us know if you receive any other communications from Pressler or any other collection outfit and we will review your potential case at that time

In the future, no matter what happens with this potential claim, please keep careful track of all documents you receive from any debt collector.

What is Pressler is harassing me on the phone or with letters related to collecting a debt?

Harassment by any means violates federal law.  If Pressler harassed you, or is still harassing you, then you likely have a claim for anything that happened within the last 12 months. What records of these communications have you kept? It is strongly advised that you retain all records from all collection companies.Please give my office a call and get us your communications to and from Pressler.

Is Pressler actively Garnishing wages or Paid a Judgement on a Debt that was old or not owed?

We are interested in speaking with you about your possible claim.  Please be able to get us certain information when we speak, including: your contact information, the docket numbers of all suits that Pressler has filed against you and any documentation to or from Pressler that you have kept.

Podcast: David Dayen Talks About His New Book “Chain of Title”

May 12th, 2016 by

In Episode 15 of The Financial Consumer Rights Talk, host Adam Deutch interviews author David Dayen and talks about his new book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud.

David Dayen has been writing about politics since 2004 as a blogger and later freelance journalist.  In recent years Dayen has become increasingly focused on the financial industry, doing deep investigative work into the mortgage crisis that started in 2007 and has morphed into a loan servicing crises.

Dayen is a contributing writer to Salon.com and also writes for The Fiscal Times, The New Republic,

The American Prospect, Politico, The Huffington Post among others.  He has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazerra and NPR.

From Publisher:  The dramatic true story of how a nurse, a car dealership worker, and a forensic expert took on the nation’s largest banks-and then shook them to their core.

Matt Taibbi review:  Chain of Title is a sweeping work of investigative journalism that traces the arc of a criminally under-reported story in America, the collapse of the rule of law in the home mortgage industry.

Pre-order your copy at Barnes and NobleAmazon or where ever fine books are sold. Release Date: 5/17/16.

Payday Loans Steep Hidden Cost

May 10th, 2016 by

CFPB Finds Half of Online Payday Borrowers Rack Up an Average of $185 in Bank Penalties

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), issued a new report that examines online payday loan payments.

“The report found that online lenders’ attempts to debit payments from a consumer’s checking account add a steep hidden cost to online payday loans. Half of all accounts have at least one payment request that results in overdraft or failure due to non-sufficient funds during the 18 month observation period. These accounts are charged an average of $185 in overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees by their institution on attempted payment requests from online lenders during the 18 months.  And one third of those borrowers who get hit with a bank penalty wind up having their account closed involuntarily. The report also found that despite this high cost to consumers, lenders’ repeated debit attempts typically fail to collect payments.” – Desmond Brown

Read the report to learn more:
consumerfinance.gov/f/201604_cfpb_online-payday-loan-payments.pdf

Key findings of this report include:

  • During the 18 months we observe account activity, accounts with one or more loans from at least one of the identified online lenders make payments totaling on average $2,164. The data do not permit us to distinguish which portion of those payments went to cover fees or interest and which portion went to repay principal. Nor can we identify the number of loans the average consumer took out during this period from these lenders. These same accounts are charged an average of $92 in overdraft and NSF fees by their institution on payment requests from online lenders during the 18 months.
  • Half of all accounts have at least one payment request that results in overdraft or failure due to NSF during the 18 month observation period. These accounts are charged an average of $185 in overdraft and NSF fees by their institution on attempted payment requests from online lenders during the 18 months. We identify several different types of payment requests to determine which requests result in fees. Of the average of $185 in fees, $97 on average are charged on payment requests that are not preceded by a failed payment request, $50 on average are charged because lenders re-present a payment request after a prior request has failed, and $39 on average are charged because a lender submits multiple payment requests on the same day.
  • After a failed ACH payment request by an online lender, subsequent payment requests to the same consumer’s account are unlikely to succeed. If not preceded by a failed payment request, only 6% of payment requests fail. After a failed payment request, however, 70% of initial re-presentments fail, and subsequent re-presentments are even less likely to succeed.
  •  Of the 94% of initial payment requests that succeed, 7% succeed only because the borrower’s depository institution covers the payment as an overdraft. If an initial payment request fails and the lender makes a subsequent attempt, only 30% of the initial re-presentments succeed, and about a third of those succeed because they are paid as overdrafts. Subsequent re-presentments show a similar pattern of succeeding only because of overdraft.
  •  Many online lenders submit multiple payment requests on the same day. Thirty-four percent of online payday payment requests occur on the same day as another request by the same lender. When multiple payment requests are submitted to a single account on the same day by an online lender, the payment requests usually all succeed (76%) or all fail (21%). Only 3% of payment requests that occur on a day with multiple requests are on days when at least one payment fails and another succeeds.
  • Accounts of borrowers who use loans from online lenders are more likely to be closed by the end of the sample period than accounts generally (23% versus 6%, respectively). Accounts with any online payday loan payment request that fails are particularly likely to be closed, with 42% of such accounts closing by the end of the sample period.

Thank you,

Desmond Brown
Office of Financial Empowerment
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Sign up to receive regular updates from the Office of Financial Empowerment and learn more about our work at consumerfinance.gov/empowerment/.