Sheriff's Sales on residential properties have resumed in some New Jersey counties. Something we hear frequently is: "I lost my home to foreclosure: can I get it back?" If you are not sure of the current status of your home, you can reach out to the Sheriff’s Office in the county where your property is located to determine if and when your home has been scheduled for a Sheriff’s Sale or if one has already taken place.
How much time do I have to save my home?
All New Jersey foreclosures are judicial, meaning your lender has to go through the courts in
order to foreclose on your home. NJ law gives struggling homeowners some options to
save their homes even after foreclosure proceedings have begun.
Is it possible to stall a foreclosure to give me time to save my home?
If a sale has been scheduled but has not yet taken place, you may still be able to save your
home. If you can afford it, paying the amount owed in full is the easiest way for you to keep your
home. Otherwise, you can stall a Sheriff's Sale by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you
qualify, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy puts an automatic stay on legal proceedings related to
your property and would prevent a Sheriff's Sale. It also prevents your foreclosure proceeding from moving forward.
What if my home has already been sold? Am I out of options?
In the event that your home has already been sold through a Sheriff’s sale, it may still be
possible to stay in your home.
The Right to Redemption is often the last chance homeowners facing foreclosure have to
retain ownership of their property. The right to redemption is the 10 day period after a
Sheriff's Sale has taken place when the homeowner can retake ownership of the property
by paying off the entirety of the foreclosure judgment along with any other outstanding
fees. You will need to file a motion objecting to the sale within this 10 day period. After this, the court will confirm the sale, making it final.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also extend the Right of Redemption for a homeowner. If
you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the 10 day period after a Sheriff's Sale, the Right
of Redemption period is extended an additional 60 days.
If you are unable to redeem your property, the sale will be finalized by the courts and the
proceeds of the sale will go to your mortgage lender. Any excess funds will be paid to
you as the former homeowner, although it is not common for there to be extra funds. If
there are excess funds, a motion must be filed with the court in order to receive the funds.
In the (likely) event the home sells for less than your mortgage balance, your lender has the right to sue you for the remaining funds—although, lenders rarely do this.
If your home is about to be put up for Sheriff's Sale or you are trying to save it after the fact,
Veitengruber Law can help. We are a full-service foreclosure defense and bankruptcy
firm with tons of experience helping New Jersey homeowners stay in their homes.
Reach out to us before it really is too late.