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May 16, 2014

Re: New Amendment to Mortgage Foreclosure Statute

Dear Mayor,

The League would like to make you aware of a recent amendment to New Jersey’s mortgage foreclosure statute. The law, P.L. 2014 c. 5, was signed by Governor Christie yesterday. We supported this legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Ron Rice and Assemblyman Ralph Caputo.

An overview of the statute is necessary. N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51 et seq. places a number of requirements on banks that are foreclosing on residential properties. For example, the law requires that banks notify municipal clerks of pending foreclosures. Additionally, the law required that if the property becomes abandoned during the foreclosure proceeding, the bank has the responsibility to abate any nuisances that may arise. If a municipality expends funds abating the nuisance, a lien can be placed on the property.
The recent amendment permits municipalities to impose penalties on banks which do not abate nuisances on these properties. Municipalities must give notice to the bank before it can impose penalties.
We recommend that you review this amendment with your municipal attorney.

Additionally, we would like to remind you that for several years various banks have been sending correspondence to municipal offices regarding specific properties’ eligibility as affordable housing units, and the Fair Housing Act. The correspondence further asserts the League of Municipalities is somehow involved in the communication.  We want you to know that correspondence contains false and misleading statements and the New Jersey League of Municipalities categorically denies any involvement with that correspondence and denies the allegations that the New Jersey League of Municipalities provided municipal contact information for this use by the banks.

The League of Municipalities has issued numerous demands that these banks cease using the name of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities and cease dissemination of this false and misleading information.  The League is not involved in any bank communications with municipalities.

If you have any questions, please contact Edward Purcell Esq. at epurcell@njslom.org.

Very Truly Yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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