October 2020 - NJ Status of Foreclosure Litigation, Sales and Evictions

October 2020 – Status of Foreclosure Litigation, Sales and Evictions

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Date: October 2, 2020Author: Denbeaux & Denbeaux

October, 2020 – Are the Foreclosure Courts Open?

 
The short answer is:

1) Yes, the foreclosure courts are open, but

2) there are no sales going on in any County as of Oct 2, 2020,

3) there are still no removals/evictions and

4) no foreclosure complaints will be filed for FHA backed mortgage loans until, at least December 31, 2020.
 
 

The State Government – Executive Branch

 
Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 103 which declared a state of health emergency.  You can read about that EO in my August, 2020 post on the state of foreclosures in New JerseyExecutive Order 106 declared a moratorium on evictions and removals from property until the pandemic was over, plus 60 days, or until the Governor issues an Executive Order lifting the moratorium.
 
On August 27, 2020, Governor Murphy reissued the pandemic Executive Order.  The general consensus is that the pandemic is going to spike again during the Winter.  There is little reason to believe that Governor Murphy is going to lift the eviction moratorium.  That means that even if foreclosing plaintiffs ‘win’, absent unusual circumstances they are not going to be able to remove homeowners from the home.
 
As of the writing of this, no County Sheriff is conducting foreclosure sales at this time. However, we just learned that Hudson County has announced sheriff sales will resume in January, 2021. For those of you in Morris County, they’ve updated sheriff sale status as on hold until at least Oct 22, 2020. There is no published timeline for lifting any of these restrictions, but I suspect that as some Counties begin sales, others will follow.
 
As I have laid out in the foreclosure infographic, foreclosure processing times take a while. After the events of 2020, the system will be strained and even slower. Take a breath. There is time. But I recommend reaching out sooner rather than later.
 
 

The State Government – Judicial Branch

 
The Supreme Court has issued further Omnibus Orders beyond those discussed in my article, Foreclosure in the Time of Covid.  None of the additional Omnibus Orders affect foreclosure or foreclosure litigation.
 
 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency

 
The FHFA is an independent federal agency that governs housing and housing finance regulation in the country.  It is the agency responsible for the FHA backed mortgage loans. FHFA Extends Foreclosure and REO Eviction Moratoriums.
 
If you want to know if you are government backed, search for your loan under https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup and https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/
 
There are other government backed loans, but the vast majority are held by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  If yours is government backed, and you are behind in your mortgage, it is extremely unlikely that a foreclosure complaint will be filed.
 
 

The CARES Act

 
If you have taken forbearance under The CARES Act, you have a government backed mortgage loan.  My advice for those with government backed mortgage loans is to take the forbearance for as long as possible.
 
 

How to Plan for the Next Steps

 
There is only one way: Educate yourself.
 
Please keep reading the weekly newsletters, look through my website for information and answers to questions and concerns and … reach out to me if you want to have a conversation about your situation.
 
I look forward to talking to you.  I can help.

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