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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 111686
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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My house located at 1 Tanager Lane, Morristown, N.J. 07960

Customer Question

Good Evening,
My house located at 1 Tanager Lane, Morristown, N.J. 07960 was unfortunately officially foreclosed upon on 8/25/16. First and foremost, I believe the was conducted outside the guidelines of the law. That being said, we purchased the house at the height of the market in late 2006 for $1,050,000. We put down $400,000 for the purchase. Of course timing is everything and we realized the house would never sell for that amount again. Business difficulties caused our financial hardship and the first sheriff's sale was scheduled for 4/21/16. Numerous adjournments and re-schedulings were provided by our first mortgagee, Clifton Savings. Each time we would receive certified letters from the bank's law firm of Frank Martone advising of the adjournment and the newly scheduled date. This all occurred consistently until the very last schedule which we were never made aware of in writing by the law firm or the bank. The public listing had the new sale date listed as "Open" up until and including the day of the sale. Their upset price was approximately $611,000. Clifton Savings was awarded the property. We were told by Clifton Savings, "Sell the House". Banks of course are not in the real estate business, they're in the loan business. Every other time the date was rescheduled, the public record indicated as such. We had absolutely no idea the house would be sold on 8/25/16. That, in and of itself, we believe constitutes a notification or disclosure violation. Coincidentally we had 2 execute contracts of sale, both for $825,000 signed 3 days prior to the sheriff's sale on Monday 8/22/16 Again, coincidentally we provided the contract to our attorney on Friday 8/26/16 who immediately contacted the bank's attorney to advise them of the "good news". To my attorney's utter shock and disbelief, the attorney said the sheriff's sale had in fact actually occurred the day before. One of the buyers were H&W both of whom were Dr's and the other party was a relocation, putting down $500,000. Not being aware of the imminent unannounced sheriff's sale, it took my wife and I three days to decide who was the most qualified candidate and could provide the quickest sale. We finally chose the latter who wanted to close with 3-4 weeks. My attorney immediately filed a motion to the chancery court Judge, the Honorable ***** *****sbury to postpone the delivery of the deed for 60 days to allow the sale to commence, which would have satisfied all parties involved, (1st and 2nd mortgagees) leaving substantial proceeds left over after the sale to which no other creditors could produce a valid claim against. This left my family was severely damaged financially. Equally as important, having the sale occur, would have avoided the damaging foreclosure on our records. The Judge agreed. The bank had agreed to honor the contract in our names and let the sale go through though we were no longer technically the owners, offered some hope to my family of some financial recovery of our original $400,000 down payment. The buyer's attorney advised them against going through with the contract as, with a 2nd mortgagee once again involved, he was unsure clear title could be conveyed to his client upon closing. He was wary (and unfamiliar) with the short sale process. My attorney pleaded with him advising there was absolutely no impediment to interfere with the closing. Nevertheless, they declined. We have now been given our walking papers by the bank. We have no money, I am nearly 61 years of age, recently unemployed, with 4 children living at home. We have nowhere to go. As an aside, my attorney was advised by the bank's attorney, while all the above was taking place, the Martone Law Firm was in the middle of litigation with the Morris County sheriff's office where a settlement was subsequently made, by whom to whom I cannot say. We believe this "distraction" caused mistakes to be made in the notification and public record updates that are required be law. We are looking for some advice, potentially some representation, to ask the court of equity for relief, to which, I believe we should be entitled. Lastly, I have been in the mortgage business for 30 years and owned my own company for more than 8 years. Employee fraud brought down a very successful company and has left us penniless and now without a home. Would someone kindly contact me to discuss our options, if any, and whether your firm would be willing to assist. Kind Regards, Glenn(###) ###-####
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your question.
I am afraid that state law forbids any expert on this site from actually representing you or any other customer on the site. If you need local counsel, please use the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.hg.org or http://www.lexmundi.com
We can provide you information to answer your questions, but no representation and if that is what you would be satisfied with please let us know.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you. I understand you cannot represent me. I wanted your professional opinion on how the whole process was handled by the bank, their attorney, what if any relief I could potentially expect from the courts and also
what happens to the remaining proceeds of the sale, whenever that occurs.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Phone number is(###) ###-####
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If the bank itself interfered with the sale, then you can seek to proceed for contempt of court against the bank, since you said the judge agreed and the bank agreed to let the sale proceed. However, as seller you had to secure proof the second mortgage would be extinguished as you likely know or the buyer was right to be wary of the purchase. If the bank itself did not interfere in the sale, then you need to attack this on the failure to give the proper notice of the sheriff's sale, since the sale had been postponed previously and notice was required and to seek damages for them improperly foreclosing. So in equity you would be seeking damages since their foreclosure sale interfered with the sale from which you could have recovered some funds and as such they caused you harm.