On December 6, 2012 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law an Act permitting lenders to file a summary action to foreclose mortgages on “vacant and abandoned” residential property. The Act’s purpose is to reduce the time it takes to complete a foreclosure and thereafter return the property to an occupied status. The New Jersey Condominium Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8B-21(f), expressly provides that “liens for unpaid common expense assessments may be foreclosed by suit brought in the name of the Association in the same manner as a foreclosure of a mortgage on real property”.
In filing for eviction in the New Jersey Superior Court, Landlord-Tenant Part, a landlord must remember the relief that he or she is seeking is a judgment for possession of the leased property. To acquire a monetary judgment the landlord must file a separate action. The Landlord-Tenant Part is not able to award the landlord a money judgment.
The New Jersey Condominium Act provides that where a unit owner fails to pay common expense assessments, a condominium association may foreclose in the same manner as a mortgage lender. However, one might ask why a condominium association would choose to foreclose when the subject unit is worth very little and most likely encumbered by a significant mortgage. To understand, one must remember that the purpose is often not to take title; rather, the purpose of the foreclosure is to get a paying owner in the unit any way possible.
Our office believes the collection process serves a dual purpose. The primary and obvious purpose is the actual collection of the unpaid funds. Naturally, the collection of unpaid funds is the cornerstone of any business. Without an effective collection strategy your business will struggle to survive and reach its maximum potential. The second purpose is the concept of deterrence, a concept commonly associated with criminal punishment. In other words, by imprisoning another, potential criminals will refrain from engaging in the same conduct. We believe the same rationale applies to the collection process. By engaging debtors in the collection process other debtors or potential debtors become aware that your business will not accept delinquent accounts. We approach each account with a strategic approach and with a level of professionalism you would expect from your own staff. Our office has found success collecting funds in the following ways: