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Garcia, Green, Wimberly, Andrzejczak & Jasey Bill to Expedite Foreclosure Process Clears Assembly Panel

Sponsors: Legislation Could Mean Months – Not Years – from Start to Completion

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Carmelo Garcia, Jerry Green, Benjie Wimberly, Bob Andrzejczak and Mila Jasey to reduce the length of the foreclosure process was advanced by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

“Here in New Jersey, the foreclosure process can take anywhere from one to three years, and during that time, many properties become vacant eyesores and headquarters for crime in their communities,” said Garcia (D-Hudson). “This legislation will help reduce the foreclosure timeline to as few as five months and keep blight at bay.”

The bill (A-4075) would supplement New Jersey’s “Fair Foreclosure Act” in order to expedite foreclosures of residential properties and proceed to a public sale in uncontested actions. Under the legislation, a mortgage lender or a lien holder whose lien is authorized by law to be foreclosed in the same manner as a residential mortgage would be permitted to file a motion for expedited judgment and sale if its action to foreclose on real property is uncontested.

“The crash of the housing market had a severe impact on neighborhoods in New Jersey, where the time from the notice of intention to foreclose to the sheriff’s sale can be a two- or three-year period,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “This bill will help relieve the backlog of cases in our state as we continue working to emerge from the foreclosure crisis.”

“Ongoing foreclosure proceedings often yield a blame game in which neither homeowners nor banks believe it is their responsibility to maintain a property,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Expediting the process will help prevent the deterioration of houses, thus preserving property values and ensuring public safety.”

“South Jersey’s depressed housing market is just one consequence of lengthy foreclosure proceedings that have left some properties in disrepair,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic). “This legislation will help move the region toward increased home sales and an overall improved economic outlook.”

“Homes in New Jersey stay in foreclosure for a far longer period of time than in many other states in the nation,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “By providing a means of reducing the time between the issuance of a default notice to a sheriff’s sale in uncontested cases, this bill will put our state on the road to restoration of the housing market.”

The measure was released by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.