If you are facing foreclosure in the state of New Jersey, it is important to keep track of the steps in the process. This includes saving and responding to any foreclosure notices you receive in the mail, and being aware of any public documents your lender files against you, including a Lis Pendens.
What is Lis Pendens in the NJ Foreclosure Process?
A Lis Pendens (Latin for “Suit Pending”) is a public document that a mortgage lender will file with the county clerk at the same time they file the public Foreclosure Complaint. The Lis Pendens is a public notification that the property is being foreclosed upon. If the homeowner attempts to sell the property or get a second mortgage, the title search will reveal the Lis Pendens and notify any interested party that the property’s title is in question due to the pending foreclosure.
How Will I Know If A Lis Pendens Has Been Filed?
You will not get any notice that the Lis Pendens has been filed and you will receive a copy. The only way to see it is to check your County Clerk’s website. Once your lender has filed the public Foreclosure Complaint and Lis Pendens, you will start to receive many advertisements from parties offering foreclosure assistance. If you do receive numerous advertisements claiming that a foreclosure has been filed, you should expect that a complaint has been filed. It is important to beware of foreclosure scams and enlist the help of an experienced NJ foreclosure attorney.
The lender is required to make an attempt to personally serve you the complaint. If personal service fails for whatever reason, your lender will serve the complaint to you by mail or by publishing in a local newspaper.
My Lender Has Filed a Foreclosure Complaint. What Should I Do?
If you receive a Foreclosure Complaint, it is important to be proactive and take immediate steps to save your home. At the law firm of Ira J. Metrick, we can help you examine your options for stopping the foreclosure and staying in your home, including:
- Filing a contesting answer to the foreclosure. To properly defend, you must file a contesting answer to the foreclosure complaint within 35 days of being served the complaint. We can carefully evaluate your case and help identify defenses to the foreclosure that will force the lender to prove that they have the right to foreclose on your home. It is also possible to file counterclaims against your lender for any violations on their part, including but not limited to:
- Filing a Foreclosure Complaint after you have submitted a COMPLETE modification application (also known as Dual Tracking.)
- Refusing to honor your loan modification.
- Refusing to accept your mortgage reinstatement payment.
- Applying for a loan modification. We can do an analysis to determine if you qualify for a modification and give you an estimate of what the new payment terms would be. If you qualify for a loan modification, you can change your mortgage payment plan and get back on track with your monthly payments.
No matter what stage of the foreclosure process you are in, there may still be a chance to save your home. The sooner you reach out to an experienced NJ foreclosure defense attorney, the more options you will have. Ira J. Metrick has been helping homeowners in New Jersey fight foreclosure for more than 20 years. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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