The Appellate Division Holds that Foreclosure Action Filed Seven Years After Default is Timely

Nov 21, 2018

In a case involving a residential foreclosure, the Appellate Division recently held that a foreclosure action filed seven years after the date of default was not barred by the statute of limitations contained in N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56.1.  Deutsche Bank Trust v. Weiner – N.J. – (App. Div. 2018).

Debbie Weiner executed a mortgage in 2005.  She failed to make a scheduled August 2009 payment and Deutsche Bank commenced a foreclosure action in September of 2016, more than seven years after the uncured default.

A foreclosure judgment was entered and defendant appealed arguing that the complaint was barred by the statute of limitations.  The Appellate Division disagreed.  N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56.1 states that a residential foreclosure action shall not commenced following the earliest of three points in time: (1) six years from the date fixed for making the last payment or the maturity date of the mortgage; (2) thirty-six years from the date the mortgage was recorded or executed; and (3) twenty years from the date of default that has not been cured. 

The last monthly payment was not due until June 2035.  The court noted that defendant’s interpretation would require that it ignore the language of the first part of the statute declaring that the six-year period runs from the date of the last payment or maturity date, as opposed to the date of default.  They had noted that the three events described in the statute were scheduled to occur in 2041 (six years after the 2035 maturity date), 2041 (thirty-six years after the 2005 recording of the mortgage) and 2029 (twenty years from the defendant’s uncured default).  Since the earliest had yet to occur, the suit commenced in September of 2016 was not time barred.