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Senator Steven Oroho

Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Advances Oroho Bipartisan Bill Package to Combat Surge in Foreclosures

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Legislation from the bipartisan foreclosure bill package sponsored by Senators Steven Oroho, Troy Singleton, and Dawn Marie Addiego, which would tackle the surge in foreclosures and streamline the pending cases, has passed the New Jersey Senate.

The impetus of these bills stems from the report which was released in May of 2017 by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and the Special Committee on Residential Foreclosures. This report was the culmination of work from key stakeholders in the process such as the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).

Legislation from the bipartisan foreclosure bill package sponsored by Sens. Oroho, Singleton and Addiego, which would tackle the surge in foreclosures and streamline the pending cases, has passed the New Jersey Senate. (iStock)

“Foreclosures are incredibly traumatic for families that are already struggling, and the resulting vacant properties can negatively affect communities in a variety of ways,” said Senator Steve Oroho (R – Morris, Sussex, Warren). “I’m glad the Legislature has been able to work with the Administration and Judiciary to find solutions across government to lower our state’s foreclosure rate, but more needs to be done. The package of bills we passed in addressing New Jersey’s foreclosure crisis is a major step in the right direction.”

“We all are aware that the surge in foreclosed properties continues to be an anchor that hinders more sustained economic growth in our state,”” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “By solving the foreclosure issue, it will help increase property values and home prices, which will assist in improving our overall economic outlook. Therefore, New Jersey must adopt policies and programs that not only prevent foreclosures, but also stabilize neighborhoods.

“While this issue is not new, the comprehensive approach outlined in this bipartisan bill package is. It seeks to build upon the continued reduction in pending foreclosure cases and shorten the timeline to adjudicate these cases. This is a reflection of the work undertaken by the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government,” continued Singleton.

“There is a negative impact in neighborhoods and communities from having numerous foreclosed homes. They drive down the number of families interested in moving to our communities, and this can create a domino effect, which stifles economic growth throughout the state,” said Senator Addiego (D-Burlington/Atlantic/Camden). “This bill package will help us solve this problem and will reform procedures to make the foreclosure process more modernized.”

The following legislation was sponsored by Senator Oroho, Senator Singleton, and Senator Addiego as a part of the bill package:

The first bill, S-3411, would require that a notice, with the intention to foreclose, would not be sent more than 180 days in advance of taking that action. Currently, a notice must be sent at least 30 days in advance of a residential mortgage lender initiating a foreclosure or other legal action to take possession of a residential property. The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 38-0.

The second bill, S-3412, substituted by A-5000, would require the Department of Affairs to create an interactive database of residential properties under foreclosure.

The third bill, S-3413, would make changes to the summary action foreclosure process under the “Fair Foreclosure Act” by clarifying the method by which foreclosed properties can be sold on an expedited timeline. The bill was released from the Senate.

The fourth bill, S-3414, substituted by A-5002, would permit all common interest community associations to record a lien for unpaid assessments. It would also provide limited priority over prior recorded mortgages and other liens for six months-worth of unpaid customary assessments

The fifth bill, S-3415, substituted by A-4999, would require the filing of certain contact information of creditors with residential mortgage foreclosure complaint and pending legal action.

The sixth bill, S-3416, would clarify that the provisions of the “New Jersey Residential Mortgage Lending Act,” also apply to certain out-of-state persons and entities involved in residential mortgage lending in the State. Debtors would be provided with a notice that the lender is licensed in accordance with the Act. The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 39-0.

The seventh bill, S-3417, substituted by A-4997, labeled the “Mortgage Servicers Licensing Act,” would mandate persons acting as a mortgage servicer to obtain a license from the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance. The bill outlines specific bonding, recordkeeping, filing, and disclosure requirements which the servicer and any other licensees must meet.

The eighth bill, S-3418, substituted by A-5001, would revise the statute of limitations for residential mortgage foreclosures.

The last bill, S-3464, would revise certain procedures under the “Fair Foreclosure Act” to expedite residential mortgage foreclosure proceedings. The bill would require the sheriff to conduct a foreclosure sale within 120 days of the sheriff’s receipt of a writ of execution. The bill was released from the Senate.

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