Questions & Answers

What’s a default judgment in a New Jersey foreclosure?


In New Jersey, if you are in foreclosure and miss the deadline to file an Answer, or file a Non-Contesting Answer, your servicer has the right and will likely file papers with the court seeking the court to Enter Default Judgment against you. This is an important step in a foreclosure case, and should, if possible, be avoided as the entry of a default judgment can both compromise your legal rights and impair your ability to fight a New Jersey foreclosure case.
It is, however, possible to fight a previously entered Default Judgment, although this is typically an uphill battle. New Jersey Court Rule 4:43-3 provides a mechanism to fight a Default Judgment by giving you the right to file a motion to vacate the default and seek leave to file an Answer. In other words, this rule enables you to, if successful, effectively remove the default and it gives you the right to file an Answer to the lawsuit filed against you following the removal of the default. However, as previously mentioned, it is difficult to successfully vacate a default judgment as it is only possible if you both show good cause for not answering the complaint filed against you and if you can demonstrate that the answer you intend to file has meritorious defenses. NJ foreclosure defense attorneys can guide those facing foreclosure through the complexities of the foreclosure process.