Few things are as difficult for homeowners as receiving a notice of intention to foreclose. The potential loss of a home is traumatic and can only make a tough financial situation even worse. 

Thankfully, there are options for fighting the foreclosure process. With the guidance of a seasoned bankruptcy attorney from Gillman, Bruton and Capone, it is possible to delay or halt a foreclosure. In many cases, a New Jersey foreclosure defense lawyer can help you reach a settlement agreement with the lender that stops foreclosure and allows you to remain in your home. 

The Foreclosure Process

Every complaint for foreclosure that gets filed must follow the same process. No matter what stage of the foreclosure process you may find yourself in, it is possible for a foreclosure defense lawyer in New Jersey to resolve the case and bring the foreclosure proceedings to an end.

Notice of Intention to Foreclose

The initial step in the foreclosure process is known as the notice of intention to foreclose. Before the lender files a foreclosure complaint, the law requires that the lender send notice to the homeowner by certified mail with a return receipt requested of its intent to file a foreclosure proceeding. Any failure to comply with the notice rules could be grounds to dismiss the foreclosure proceeding. 

There is a time limit that applies to this notice. The Notice must be sent at least 30 days prior to the filing of a foreclosure complaint but it cannot be sent more than 180 days prior to the filing of the foreclosure complaint. The notice should explain the reason that the lender is seeking foreclosure, as well as instructions for how the homeowner could cure the default and keep their home. 

The Foreclosure Complaint

The next step involves the lender filing the foreclosure complaint. This complaint initiates the legal proceedings, but those proceedings cannot continue until the homeowner is formally served with the Summons and Complaint. The complaint is filed with the Office of Foreclosure. The homeowner will have 35 days to prepare and file an Answer to the foreclosure complaint.

Judgment and Sale

If the homeowner fails to answer the complaint, or the court rules in favor of the lender, the court will enter a judgment against the homeowner. Once the judgment is entered, the lender may obtain a Writ of Execution, which is served on the County Sheriff and allows the lender to sell the homeowner’s property through a sheriff’s sale. 

Defense Options During Foreclosure Proceedings

Homeowners have different options for defending against a foreclosure. Some options are more suitable than others, depending on the homeowner’s particular circumstances. A New Jersey foreclosure prevention attorney can advise a homeowner as to the options available and as to which of these options is best for the homeowner’s situation. 

Contesting the Foreclosure

A homeowner has the right to file an answer to the foreclosure proceeding and fight the process in court. This is done when the homeowner has legal grounds to dispute the right to foreclose. 

Loan Modification

Many lenders are willing to make arrangements that would keep a homeowner in their home. One option is loan modification. With a loan modification, the lender and homeowner reach an agreement to adjust the monthly payments or other loan terms to resolve the homeowner’s default and put an end to the foreclosure process.


Bankruptcy is a common tool for fighting foreclosure. The automatic stays goes into effect upon the filing of the bankruptcy, which halts the foreclosure proceedings as soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed. The bankruptcy filing provides the homeowner the time to make other arrangements with the lender. 


There is always the option for a homeowner to reinstate the loan, which involves paying all of the arrears, as well as any late fees. This option is available until the final judgment is entered, but many homeowners lack the financial assets to take advantage of reinstatement. 

Reasons to Hire a Lawyer

It is estimated that less than half of those homeowners who would benefit from being represented by a foreclosure defense attorney actually retain one. There are several reasons as to why they do not retain legal counsel to assist them in avoiding losing their home through a foreclosure:

  • They read about foreclosure law on the internet and believe they can do it themselves.
  • Taking “legal advice” from a real estate agent. Agents only get paid when they sell a property and therefore think that a Short Sale is a great idea. They generally do not know anything about foreclosure remedies and the tax consequences of a Short Sale.
  • Believing a scam artist who guarantees the ability to save your home. The New Jersey State Department of Banking and Insurance has issued warnings about these scammers.
  • The belief that there might be a better option available.

Taking all of this into consideration, it is in a New Jersey homeowner’s best interest to, at the very least, consult with and retain a foreclosure defense lawyer.

Talk to a New Jersey Foreclosure Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing the risk of foreclosure, there is no need to panic. A New Jersey foreclosure defense attorney can provide you with the tools necessary to fight back and resolve the situation. With the help of thoughtful legal counsel, you could keep your home and resolve the dispute with your lender. Let an attorney help you protect your home. Call us right away to learn more.