The housing crisis in 2008 had many ripple effects throughout the entire nationwide economy but it also had significant repercussions in New Jersey. One of the ways that the New Jersey courts tried to abate many of the most problematic elements of the mortgage foreclosure crisis were through reforms and litigation designed to hold the biggest lenders who violated New Jersey law in foreclosure cases accountable. The impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 further strengthened consumer rights.
There are still questions, however, raised about how this impacts the thousands of properties left behind by any of these situations. Properties owned by owners that were financially devastated in the housing and economic crisis are due to being unable to keep up the properties and this means that they are not being rented or used as a residence. Owners can be further frustrated if they attempt to surrender these properties to the affected mortgage companies. Mortgage companies in many cases failed to complete or begin the foreclosure process because of the impact of the crisis overall.
A law that went into effect in 2014 regarding the summary action for foreclosing mortgages on certain properties allowed lenders to establish summary actions to foreclose mortgages on abandoned and vacant residential property. Property can be classified as abandoned and vacant in New Jersey if it meets any two of the following conditions:
- Accumulation of junk, litter, debris, or trash.
- Neglected or overgrown vegetation.
- The accumulation of mail or newspapers on the property.
- Disconnected utility services.
- The accumulation of unhealthy or hazardous substances on the property.
- It’s a risk to the welfare and safety of the public.
- Doors that have been smashed, unhinged, or broken off.
- Statements from people in the area indicating that the property is vacant and abandoned.
- Absence of personal items and furnishings.
- Absence of window treatments.
- Written statements from the mortgager expressing the clear intent from all the people on the mortgage to abandon the property.
- Winterizing the property.
- Uncorrected violations of housing or building codes.
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The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.