We represent the homeowners in an action in Somerset County, New Jersey. The bank claims that its process server successfully served our clients with a foreclosure lawsuit in December, 2012, yet our client claims he was never served. The bank’s process server indicated that he served a dark-skinned male with brown hair, yet my client has had a shaved head for over 10 years.

Based on the bank’s claim that they successfully served the foreclosure lawsuit on my clients, the bank then entered a default judgment because there was no Answer and Affirmative Defenses filed within the 35 days required under New Jersey law. When a default is entered, it can and often will preclude any litigation or challenge to the loan itself, including ownership, standing and predatory lending defenses that a homeowner often has.

I filed a Motion to Vacate the Default Judgment based on the bank’s failure to serve the complaint on the proper individuals. The court granted my motion, the Default Judgment has been removed from the court docket, and I filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses with the Court. The case is now being litigated, but if the Default Judgment had remained in place, the bank would have been entitled to a Final Judgment, and then a Sheriff’s Sale, without ever giving the homeowners a chance to litigate and discover the true nature and ownership of the loan. Even though we persuaded the Court to vacate the default, this case illustrates the need for a homeowner to be vigilante and to get any and all paperwork over to his or her attorney in a timely manner.

Contact Shaffer & Gaier

To set up a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Or, call our Philadelphia office location at 215-751-0100 or our New Jersey office at 856-429-0970.