In New Jersey, a borrower typically has 35 days from the date of service to respond to a foreclosure lawsuit. This time frame is set by the New Jersey Rules of Court, Rule 4:64-1, which states that a borrower must file an answer or other responsive pleading within 35 days of being served with the foreclosure complaint. If a borrower does not respond within this time frame, they will be in default and the lender may be able to proceed with the foreclosure without further input from the borrower, unless the borrower files a Motion to Vacate Default that is granted by the judge assigned to the relevant case. Notably the judge in question is not required to grant the borrower’s request to Vacate Default, so it is prudent for the borrower to file an Answer to the foreclosure lawsuit within the 35 day time period referred to above.
It is recommended that borrowers facing foreclosure seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible to ensure they take the appropriate steps to respond to the foreclosure lawsuit within the 35-day time frame. An attorney can help the borrower to understand the foreclosure process, their legal rights, and the options available to them to help them keep their home or avoid a foreclosure on their credit record.
Undoubtedly, responding to a foreclosure complaint or lawsuit can be confusing given the related technical requirements. The steps that must be taken to successfully respond to a foreclosure in New Jersey include but are not limited to filing an Answer, which is a legal response, to the foreclosure lawsuit within 35 days of the date at which the Defendant has been served. Such a response must be filed with the court. Moreover, the Defendant in a New Jersey foreclosure action must serve the Plaintiff, the party who brought the case against you, with such a response within the designated period of time. However, if the case Plaintiff is represented by counsel, a lawyer or law firm, the Answer to the foreclosure lawsuit must be served on the relevant counsel.
If you are interested in learning more about New Jersey’s foreclosure process, or if you have any related questions call us today at (973) 500-8024 or (212) 960-8308, or submit your contact information below and we can contact you directly.