Sheriff’s Sale and Foreclosure in New Jersey

We have received a notice from our bank stating that they are going ahead with the Sheriffs sale. We are not sure when we will receive the notice from the Sheriff’s dept. We had filed for Chapter 13 in 2009. I would like to understand the possible scenarios that we may face and what should we do before the final verdict is announced? 
1. What happens if the minimum bid amount is not reached and there are no buyers?
2. Will the Sheriffs dept. put up a sign on my lawn informing about the sale?
3. If the entire process takes less than three months, should we start looking for a new place? 
4. What happens if the bank representative wins the bid ( if there are no other buyers). will they ask us to leave immediately?

One Response to “Sheriff’s Sale and Foreclosure in New Jersey”

  1. Jeff Jenkins

    If your bank says they are going ahead with a sheriff’s sale, you would see that whole process coming step by step. Have you seen a foreclosure complaint and summons? The bank would have had to go through the foreclosure process and now have a judgment against you before they could contact the sheriff to arrange for a sheriff’s sale. You should receive notice from the bank’s attorneys about when the sheriff’s sale is scheduled. You can always contact your county sheriff’s dept. and ask them if your property is scheduled for any kind of sale.

    You indicated that you filed a Chapter 13 in 2009. If you received a discharge in this bankruptcy, the discharge would have the effect of eliminating your liability on the mortgage note. The bank would still hold a mortgage on the property and could foreclose if you do not make your payments but they could never sue you for any deficiency that may result if they do get the property at sheriff’s sale and sell it to someone else and do not get enough money to cover what is owed.

    You are asking what happens if there are no buyers. When the bank’s attorney goes to a sheriff’s sale they are going to know “to the penny” exactly what is owed to the bank. The attorney will usually start off with a bid of $100.00 and if more is owed on the property than what it is worth, no one else is going to bid so the mortgage company will be the successful bidder. If anyone else did bid, the mortgage company’s attorney would bid with them until they get up to the exact amount that is owed the mortgage holder and if someone else wants to pay one cent more than that for the property then they would be the successful bidders.

    The sheriff’s dept. will not put a sign up on your lawn informing anyone about the sale. Foreclosures in New Jersey take about 18 months now if the mortgage company’s attorneys are fast about doing their work. Even after a sheriff’s sale the sheriff has to wait 10 days before he gives the Deed to the successful bidder (usually, however, the Sheriff will take 3 or 4 weeks to do this). Then, the successful bidder would have to file what amounts to an eviction action in State court (a summary dispossess action) to have you evicted if you do not move out voluntarily. That process takes a month or more so you could certainly stay in the property until you see that happening.

    I hope the information I have given you answers all of your questions.

    Jeff Jenkins


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