Foreclosure acceleration bill for abandoned properties released

TRENTON – The Senate Economic Growth Committee unanimously released a bill, S2156, designed to  speed up the foreclosure process in certain cases.

It would authorize banks or other lenders to bring summary actions to foreclose mortgages on vacant and abandoned residential property. 

The court may enter a final residential mortgage foreclosure judgment under the bill if it finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that the residential property is vacant and abandoned and that a review of the  documents filed with the court supports the entry of a final judgment. 

Dan Phillips of the Administrative Office of the Courts supported the bill, saying it addresses a critical issue in the state, blighted neighborhoods resulting from homeowners who walked away from their properties during the downturn.

He said this bill would accelerate the process from roughly one and a  half years to three to four months.

In addition, he said they expect to see approximately 100,000 foreclosure complaints in the coming year, underscoring the urgency of the legislation.

Other supporters included N.J. Business and Industry Association, N.J. Bankers Association, and N.J. Realtors Association.