In New Jersey, a homeowner can lose his or her home for failure to pay real estate taxes to the town/city where the property is located. Unlike mortgage foreclosure cases where the property is required to go to a judicial sale and the homeowner is given one final shot to save the home by “redeeming” or paying off the judgment within 10 days from the sale date, in tax foreclosure cases there is no judicial sale and the opportunity to redeem is thus lost once the final judgment is entered. In other words, the entry of a final judgment in real estate tax foreclosure cases serves to transfer title of the property to the foreclosing plaintiff.
What, if anything, can the homeowner do in this situation to recover the property? In a recent case handled by our office, we petitioned the Court to void the tax foreclosure judgment and to permit our clients to payoff or redeem the tax sale certificate on the basis that the plaintiff tax investor did not properly serve the Complaint on one of the property’s co-owners resulting in depriving the co-owner of his due process rights to receive notice of the lawsuit and the opportunity to exercise his right of redemption. Royal Tax Lien Services v. Arik, Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Bergen County, Docket No.: F-7409-11. The matter is set down for a hearing in the Superior Court of New Jersey on December 13, 2013. Click here to read a copy of the brief that our office filed in support of our client’s request to declare the judgment void.