Mandatory Mediation Required in New Jersey Foreclosure Matters

Due to the drastic increase in foreclosure filings in New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court instituted the New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation Program. Foreclosure mediation is intended to introduce a neutral third party to assist lenders and defaulting homeowners in reaching a resolution to their dispute. Mediation will be provided to homeowners who have filed an answer and are contesting the foreclosure, as well as homeowners who do not file an answer, and whose cases are considered "uncontested." As long as a homeowner files a financial worksheet, signed off by a local HUD-certified housing agency, mediation will be scheduled. The mediation does not "stay" the court proceedings, and the lender may proceed to finalize the action by seeking an entry of final judgment and writ of possession. The sheriff sale will be stayed while a mediation is pending.

The first notice of the mediation program must be served along with the Summons and Complaint. A second notice of mediation will be sent by the Administrative Office of the Court Central Office within 60 days after the foreclosure complaint is filed. A third notice must be attached to the lender's notice of motion for final judgment.

Once mediation is requested, and the financial worksheet is provided to the Office of Foreclosure, mediation is required to be scheduled within 90 days. Mediation will take place in the County where the foreclosure complaint has been filed. Lenders are required to appear with settlement authority, or to be available via telephone during the mediation with authority to settle.

If you have any questions regarding the foreclosure process in the State of New Jersey, please contact at Mark Law Firm by filling out the form on our contact us page or by calling 908-626-1001.