Finding a New Jersey Foreclosure Attorney means first understanding the foreclosure process for the state of New Jersey. A foreclosure defense attorney must be licensed to practice in the same state as your property. As foreclosure laws differ from state to state, be sure you understand the process and hire an attorney who is well versed in handling cases in New Jersey.
Like in most states, it takes about 3 months of missed payments for the bank to begin the default process. In the state of New Jersey, the lender must file a notice of intent to foreclose 33 days prior to serving the homeowner with actual foreclosure papers.
Notice of Intent
In the notice of intent to foreclose, the bank must notify the homeowner of the exact amount owed, indicate the final payment date to avoid foreclosure, provide phone numbers and bank contact information as well as provide advice to seek legal counsel. The best time for a New Jersey homeowner to hire a foreclosure attorney is before foreclosure is served. This way your New Jersey Foreclosure Attorney can be fully prepared to defend your home before you are served foreclosure.
The official complaint is filed in the Trenton Foreclosure Office usually 33 days after the homeowner receives the notice of intent. At this time the homeowner is usually unaware of the complaint. Soon after, the borrower will be served with official notice that their home is in foreclosure. The homeowner will have 35 days to answer the complaint which must be filed in the Trenton Foreclosure Office. At this time the homeowner must reply to the complaint as "contesting" or "non-contesting". This can be a difficult decision and no homeowner should attempt to answer the complaint on their own. A New Jersey Foreclosure Attorney is necessary at this time.
If the homeowner answers "non-contesting" the house can be sold at auction soon after the complaint is answered. If the homeowner answers "contesting" there are many legal routes your foreclosure attorney can choose. At this time your case will be sent to Chancery Court for trial and discovery.
Foreclosure can be scary, but hiring the right New Jersey foreclosure attorney who knows the laws can help save your home even if you've already been served foreclosure. The best things a homeowner can do to protect their home and their assets is to hire a foreclosure attorney as early as possible in the foreclosure process.