A mortgage lender cannot simply take your property, no matter how late you may be on your payments. Instead, New Jersey law requires that mortgage lenders follow specific procedures in order to lawfully foreclose on a property. As part of the process, property owners have the right to fight back against the foreclosure by raising any legal defenses that may apply in their case. The following are only some ways that an attorney can help you defend against a foreclosure.
Procedural defects – There are many ways that a mortgage lender can fail to follow the proper procedures for a judicial foreclosure under New Jersey law, including:
- Not providing proper notice of the intent to foreclose with all of the required information;
- Improperly filing the foreclosure complaint with the court;
- Improper service of the complaint and summons;
- Missing other important deadlines.
While procedural defects may get a case dismissed, the lender will likely have the opportunity to refile the case and follow correct procedures. However, during this time, you will have the opportunity to figure out a way to catch up on your payments and avoid foreclosure.
Promissory note – Only the company that currently owns your mortgage can file for foreclosure and the court requires that lenders provide proof of ownership of the loan by providing the original promissory note you signed. If the mortgage has been bought and sold numerous times, the company may not have adequate proof of ownership.
Lender mistakes – Some foreclosures are initiated after a mortgage lender made a mistake. For example, if the company simply failed to properly record payments that you made. By presenting evidence that you were not actually in default, you can often successfully challenge the foreclosure.
Predatory lending – Predatory lending occurs when a mortgage lender uses fraudulent or unfair tactics to take advantage of borrowers. If your lender has used high penalties for prepayment, inflated appraisals or interest rates, or any other unfair terms, the court can order the foreclosure to be stopped.
Call an experienced New Jersey foreclosure defense lawyer for a consultation
Homeowners who are facing foreclosure often have many legal options of which they may not be aware. To protect your property rights and avoid unnecessary and/or wrongful foreclosure, you should always discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney who understands how to use the law to fight NJ foreclosures. The sooner you act, the sooner we can begin working on protecting your homeowner’s rights, so please call The Law Office of David H. Kaplan for a free consultation today.