NJ Mortgage Foreclosure Case Highlights Limitations to “Foreclosure Defense”

A recently announced New Jersey Appellate Division case highlights some limitations to proceeding with “foreclosure defense” tactics.    In Wells Fargo Bank N.A. v. Lopez, No. A-2399-11T4. the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, in an opinion decided March 28, 2013, found that despite the fact that the Plaintiff Bank may have failed to meet requirements of the NJ Fair Foreclosure Act, the homeowners were unable to vacate a default judgment in this mortgage foreclosure action.   The Court found that even if the plaintiff lacked standing to file its complaint because it failed to obtain an assignment of the mortgage and did not hold the note and mortgage when it filed its complaint, the defendants failed to deny responsibility for their debt, contributed to substantial delay by filing numerous bankruptcy petitions, waited to file their motion to vacate until their unsuccessful short sale attempt, and provided no reason for the over four-year delay between the entry of default judgment and their motion to vacate.

While the specific facts of this case may be unique, the case highlights a common concern.   Unrepresented homeowners who wish to save their home undertake various  “foreclosure defense” tactics without consideration of how it will impact on their ability to find a reasonable and realistic solution.   Sometimes supported by alleged non-attorney “foreclosure experts”, homeowners undertake a course of action that has little to no chance of offering them an opportunity.

Generally, homeowners are much better served immediately consulting with a professional who can provide reasonable guidance on how best to proceed.   Attorneys who are experienced in such matters often can suggest realistic courses of action rather than temporary delays which ultimately find you no favor with the Courts or the lender and servicer with whom you may wish to reach an agreement.

The information set forth above is not legal advice which can be provided to you only after a full review and evaluation by an attorney of your particular circumstances and the remedies which may be available.


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