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Foreclosure FAQs

What is Foreclosure?

A foreclosure is a lawsuit to cause someone to lose their home or other real estate because they did not make mortgage or property tax payments.

What should I do when I receive a foreclosure summons and complaint?

Immediately speak with an attorney who is experienced in defending foreclosure cases. A response to the summons and complaint must be filed with the Court within 35 days after you receive these Court papers. If you don't do so, you may lose important legal rights to help you avoid losing your home.

What is the foreclosure mediation program?

With the summons and foreclosure complaint, you received an application to apply for foreclosure mediation through the New Jersey Superior Court's Home Loss Prevention Program.  The Court Rules require that you get these forms and notices. They can help you save your home.

Our law firm handles many mortgage modifications and can help you complete the required forms with the information needed to get the mediation started. We represent both homeowners and lenders in mediations.

Can I stop a foreclosure after a lawsuit has been filed?

The short answer is “Yes” but you must act quickly. A response, called an answer, should be filed with the Court.

A request to participate in the New Jersey Superior Court's Home Loss Prevention Program can be filed with the Court. You may be able to negotiate a mortgage modification with payments that will be acceptable to your mortgage lender that you can afford.

A mortgage modification results in the foreclosure being stopped so long as you make the called for payments.

You can stop the foreclosure by making all of the missed payments and staying current. There is a 45 day period when you can bring the payments current BUT you will only have 10 days to give the mortgage lender's attorneys notice that you intend to get your mortgage payments current.

Our law firm handles many mortgage foreclosures. We can help you save your home.

Will a bankruptcy stop a foreclosure?

Yes. Once a bankruptcy case is filed, the foreclosure MUST stop.

The foreclosure attorney may ask the Bankruptcy Judge to allow the foreclosure to continue. Unless you are prepared to resume mortgage payments, the Bankruptcy Judge may give permission for the foreclosure to resume. There are many ways to prevent the foreclosure from resuming.

Our law firm uses the bankruptcy courts to help our clients keep their homes by preparing plans for them to get caught up on missed mortgage payments and by aggressively negotiating with mortgage lenders' attorneys.

A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan or Reorganization of your debts is uniquely designed to help you avoid losing your home.

Our law firm can help you avoid the tragedy of home loss by using the bankruptcy laws created to prevent this from happening. Don't lose your home without a fight!

How long does a foreclosure take from start to finish.

Usually foreclosure takes 8 to 12 months for the time the complaint is filed until your home can be sold by the county sheriff. You are entitled to two thirty-day adjournments of the sale if you ask the sheriff in writing and pay the sheriff's fees for the delay.

Our law firm has delayed foreclosure cases for a long as six years helped, in part, by negotiations, the pandemic and other factors including mortgage servicers' inability to prove how much money is owed.

What happens if my property is sold at a Sheriff's Sale?

Legally, you no longer own your home unless you pay all money you owe within 10 days to the sheriff. The law requires not just the missed payments but the entire amount you borrowed and did not pay plus sheriff's fees and Court costs. After a Sheriff's Sale, bankruptcy will not help you save your home.

The successful bidder will get a deed from the sheriff about two weeks after the sale.

This is usually the bank or mortgage lender. You will be contacted to see when you will move out. Sometimes, the new owner may offer you a small amount of money to move. The County Sheriff can evict you if you do not move.

I just purchased a tax sale certificate from a town. How do I foreclose and get to own the property?

After the tax certificate is given to you, you must file it with the County Clerk. You must wait two years before you may start a foreclosure law suit.

Tax foreclosures are complex. One mistake may cause you to lose your right to foreclose, lose the right to recover your money or own the property. Our law firm can help you understand and avoid this bad result.


Initial meetings with an attorney should be more than a “meet and greet” session. Often, real progress toward a possible solution can be made. Your first consultation with Bill Wolfson is offered free of charge. We invite you to schedule it today so that you can get immediate answers to your most pressing questions.