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How Long Do I Have to Answer a Foreclosure Complaint in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | May 19, 2023 | Foreclosure Saving Your Home

A common question we receive is, ‘how long do I have to file an answer to a New Jersey foreclosure complaint that I have been served with.’

This blog will answer that very important question.

How Does a New Jersey Foreclosure Action Start?

A foreclosure action begins when the mortgage company files a complaint against you, the borrower, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division. The foreclosure complaint is filed in the county where your home is located. The entity filing the lawsuit is known as the Plaintiff. The borrower/ homeowner who the lawsuit is brought against is known as the Defendant.

How Long Do I Have to Answer a New Jersey Foreclosure Complaint?

You have 35 days from the date you are served with the summons and complaint to file an answer to the NJ foreclosure complaint. An answer is the formal legal document that is prepared and filed in response to the complaint. In the answer you admit the allegations that are true and deny those that are false. You must also set forth any defenses you have to the foreclosure. Defenses are the reasons that you believe that the Plaintiff does not have the right to obtain a foreclosure judgment against you. Responding to a foreclosure complaint can be confusing given the various technical requirements of preparing and filing the answer.

What If I Don’t File an Answer to the Foreclosure Complaint?

If the Defendant does not file an answer on time, the Plaintiff’s attorney can ask the Court to enter a default, and then seek a final judgment of foreclosure. However, 14 days before the Plaintiff can file a request for entry of the final judgment, they must send the borrower a notice offering them a final chance to cure the default. If you cannot cure the default and the court grants final judgment to the mortgage lender, the Court will issue a writ of execution ordering the Sheriff to sell your home at a public auction.

It is important that if you do have defenses to the foreclosure that you retain counsel and have an answer filed in a timely manner. It is difficult to have either a default or default judgment set aside. Even though you may have valid defenses to the foreclosure, you may never get to raise them if you do not file your answer on time.

Contact Levitt & Slafkes to Help You Save Your Home

If you have been served with a New Jersey Foreclosure Complaint and want help to respond, or if you have any related questions contact the experienced foreclosure defense attorneys at Levitt & Slafkes today at 973-323-2953. You can also contact us online.

We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years. The information on this website and blogs is for general information purposes only. Nothing should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

Bruce H. Levitt, Esq. is an experienced New Jersey foreclosure defense attorney who has been helping homeowners keep their homes for over 30 years. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage or are being sued in foreclosure contact Bruce Levitt today.