Date: April 24, 2020Author: Denbeaux & Denbeaux
The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued two emergent ‘Omnibus’ Orders related to Covid 19.
The second, issued today, addresses foreclosure for the first time.
Where the CARES Act and Governor Murphy has pretty much put a halt to the start of most foreclosure cases, now the Supreme Court of New Jersey has Ordered that foreclosure cases already started are going to come to a screeching halt.
The exact language of the Order regarding foreclosures, found at Section 3(h) is:
“The Office of Foreclosure will not review or recommend motions or judgments received on or about March 1, 2020 pending further court order”.
The Clerk of the Foreclosure Unit is the place where motions for judgment, where motions to reinstate dismissed foreclosure cases and where all uncontested foreclosure actions are decided.
So what this means, in normal English, is that most of the foreclosure process in New Jersey is essentially stopped.
First, it means that if you are already in foreclosure, or late on your mortgage and worried, you can take a breath and relax. Nothing is going to happen in your case right now.
That is not to say that you should ignore the foreclosure, not at all.
This is all going to put such strain on the mortgage servicing industry to keep up with all of these changes. They are really going to struggle, and as a result, they are going to MAKE MISTAKES.
Mortgage servicer mistakes are how borrowers WIN.
Take a deep breath … and start thinking about how you can win this fight.
The mortgage servicers are in crisis. The industry is absolutely terrible at dealing with wholesale changes in the manner of doing business, and they are going to make many, many mistakes.
The answer is to send Requests for Information (you can find many examples online), demanding full accounting of the loan and asking for them to tell you exactly what programs are available for you to help in this crisis. Any mistakes made, even in failing to describe a potential forbearance or modification program available to you, can turn into a lawsuit against your mortgage servicer … and sometimes their lawyer, too!
So, if you are able to take a deep breath and clear your mind, start thinking offense, instead of defense. I hope that I am empowering you to believe that you CAN fight back and you CAN defend yourself.
If you have any questions regarding your situation, to see how these changes affect you, please reach me. I am happy to give you a few minutes on the phone or by email to try to explain all these changes to alleviate at least some of your stress.
Be safe, people. And trust one another if you can. We are all in this together and I will be leading to charge to get us out of this mess together.