The Supreme Court of New Jersey has relaxed the foreclosure rules for homes that are judicially determined to be "vacant and abandoned" as defined by N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73. The relaxation waives the 'notice of motion for entry of judgment and of tenants' rights' step in the foreclosure process, allowing the court to enter final judgment on the return date of a creditor's motion or application.
A foreclosing creditor can file an application for summary proceeding, or an order to show cause with the Office of Foreclosure which may recommend final judgment. The foreclosing creditor must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the property is "vacant and abandoned." The motion must be served on homeowner-defendant. The plaintiff must be able to show that they made two unsuccessful attempts at serving the motion on two occasions, 72 hours apart, at two different times of the day.
Creditor cannot prevail on such a motion if the residence is occupied, the defendant files an answer, entered an appearance or otherwise challenged the foreclosure proceeding. Also, if the property is seasonal, undergoing construction or involved in an ownership dispute, it is not deemed "vacant and abandoned."
The Supreme Court relaxed Rule 4:64-1 providing for summary foreclosure proceedings on May 23, 2013. The intent behind such legislation is to avoid neighborhood blight, and try to get properties back into occupancy as soon as possible.