Should I file an answer in my NJ Foreclosure even though my 35 days are up?

Jan 2, 2020 | Copyright, New Jersey Foreclosure Defense

Should I file an answer in my NJ Foreclosure even though my 35 days are up?

This firm practices foreclosure defense law in the state of New Jersey and New York. Today’s question is: “Should I file an answer even though my 35 days are up in my New Jersey foreclosure case.”

As with most legal answers the answer is, “Maybe.”  A lot of times we would say, “Yes. You should.” The reason for not filing an answer are usually related to defenses that can be raised, or whether you really need to answer at all.  We have tenants come to us asking if they need to file anything with the court, and we have yet found a tenant that had a reason to file.

What stops an answer in my NJ Foreclosure being filed after 35 days?

The one thing that really cuts you off from filing an answer after your 35 days is not the time frame of thirty-five days; it is the request by opposing counsel to find you in default. This filing is what really controls the filing of an answer.  However, even when you have been defaulted, it still may be possible to file a late answer after having the default vacated.

As an example, let’s say that after the 35 days are up, it is now day 45 maybe you were or weren’t in the New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation program. (This is different than a foreclosure case management conference.) However the bank’s attorney has not filed to have you defaulted. If you file an answer the court will most likely accept it as if it was filed on time. I’ve done this on numerous occasions when clients had not even hired me until after the 35 days had run out.

What reasons would a bank’s attorney not file to default someone in a NJ Foreclosure?

Sometimes there’s a communication issue between the bank and their attorneys. Sometimes you may even have an agreement with the banks attorney, like you asked for 45 days to sell your home while in Foreclosure, or you are working or have been approved for a loan modification and they agreed not to move forward. Sometimes the case may be on a litigation hold which means the attorneys can’t proceed with your foreclosure. Sometimes the bank’s attorneys miss the filing for the default as soon as they can because they are not as efficient as they should be, an attorney is on vacation, the paralegal is out, the file was misplaced, the loan was sold to a new bank, new counsel was hired…. The list goes on and on for why the filing may not have been done as soon as it could have been done.

In all of these examples, this gives you an opportunity as the defendant to file an answer, even after the 35 days has have expired. So, keep in mind, just because it says 35 days on your foreclosure summons and complaint you can still file an answer in your New Jersey foreclosure case if you haven’t been defaulted. A lot of times when money is on the line for the bank, filing for the default after 35 days is a priority. We have had clients who were almost to the point of having there homes auctions offed roughly 4 months after the foreclosure started and they did not fight. So, do not believe anyone that says you have years for a foreclosure to finish.

However, sometimes the bank’s attorneys do not file as fast as they should so it works in your favor. So that’s the answer to the question: “Should I file an answer in my NJ Foreclosure even though my 35 days are up?”

Even if you are not an owner in foreclosure like an executor or, tenant and you have any questions feel free to call a NJ Foreclosure Defense Lawyer to develop a strategy to keep your home or walk you through ways to sell your home or even rebuild your credit after foreclosure, or discuss any legal issues you may have. Call 973-200-1111 or email

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