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New Jersey’s Foreclosure Moratorium Ends
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New Jersey’s foreclosure moratorium ends on November 15, 2021. During the moratorium, lenders could file foreclosure complaints. But, sheriffs could not remove occupants or conduct foreclosure sales. After November 15, 2021 sheriff’s sales and lockouts will resume. However, 
new federal regulations provide new protections.

Lenders must follow certain rules for all new eviction complaints filed after August 31, 2021. From August 31, 2021 until December 31, 2021, a lender cannot file a new foreclosure action unless the foreclosure meets one of three conditions:

  1. The property is vacant; or
  2. The borrower has failed to respond to the lender’s communications; or
  3. The borrower has not submitted a complete loan application.

If a borrower submits a complete loan application, the lender cannot file a new foreclosure action unless:

  • The borrower fails to accept a loan modification offer; or
  • The lender denies the application for a loan modification and any deadline for appeal has passed.

If your lender files a new foreclosure complaint without meeting these conditions, see an attorney right away. Note: You only have 35 days to file an answer to a foreclosure complaint, so don’t delay.

Remember, these conditions do not apply to eviction actions filed before August 31, 2021.

Homeowners who have missed mortgage payments may want to:

  1. Talk to an Attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options. They can help you deal with your servicer, help you file for bankruptcy to save your home, or represent you in court to defend against the foreclosure . If you cannot afford to keep your home, even with a loan modification, an attorney can help you decide on your best option for moving forward.

  2. Apply for a Loan Modification and Respond to Servicer Communications. Do not ignore telephone calls or letters from your mortgage servicer. If you do not respond, the servicer can start a new foreclosure action against you without waiting for you to apply for a loan modification. If you have applied for a loan modification, ask the servicer for the status of the application. Find out if any information is missing from your application. If you submit a complete loan modification application the servicer cannot start a new foreclosure action until they fully evaluate your application, and either:
    • Offer you a loan modification; or
    • Deny your application for a loan modification, notify you of any appeal rights, and wait until the appeal period has passed.

  3. Get Help. The federal government recently allocated funds to help homeowners prevent mortgage defaults and foreclosures. In New Jersey, those funds will be administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). You can sign up on the NJHMFA website to be notified when the agency begins taking applications for assistance: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ei4a1zq1kpsl492p/a021lvku8v0lnk/questions.

    If you are a landlord, unable to pay your mortgage because of missed rent payments during the COVID emergency, you and your tenant(s) may be able to get help. Rental assistance is available through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Applications are being accepted now and can be found here: https://njdca.onlinepha.com.

  4. File a complaint with the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau. The Federal Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) regulates mortgage servicing activities. The CFPB can help consumers who have complaints about their lenders when the lender is violating the law. You can learn more about the complaint process and submit a complaint here: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint.
11/4/2021