How to Stop or Adjourn A Sheriff Sale in New Jersey

A Home Owner Is Entitled To Two 2-Week Adjournments of A Sheriff Sale Simply By Requesting One and Paying A Small Fee to The Sheriff’s Office. Here’s How to Stop or Adjourn A Sheriff Sale.

It takes a long time in New Jersey to foreclosure on a home in New Jersey but ultimately, if the loan can’t be worked-out and brought current through a loan modification or a bankruptcy, most foreclosure cases end at a Sheriff sale. You may find you need to stop or adjourn a sheriff sale to get more time to work-out a foreclosure.

You are entitled to two adjournments for any or no reason.

An adjournment is lawyer-speak for temporarily stopping and postponing a court action or hearing.  In a New Jersey foreclosure case, the plaintiff (your mortgage lender) is entitled to adjourn a Sheriff sale as may times as it wants for any or no reason but the defendant (the home owner) is only entitled to two adjournments for any or no reason and only for two weeks, now 30 days, each. This law was updated on April 29, 2019 and goes into effect on July 30 2019 changing the two week adjournments to 30-day adjournments – See the full article here on this and other foreclosure laws that have been amended in New Jersey.

How Do I Get My Two Adjournments?

I have found over the years that all of the 21 County Sheriff offices across the State are staffed by extremely helpful individuals who make getting an adjournment easy.  Each County has its own procedures and sets its own costs to request an adjournment but generally speaking, there is a small fee – usually $28 – to request an adjournment and it must be done in person (so you can pay the fee) using either a simple letter listing the docket number and Sheriff sale number and property address and the date of the sale and simply asking for the adjournment.  Some Sheriff offices have a simple form which you can fill-out and give to the Sheriff’s representative to request the adjournment. You can download a general form here by clicking the link below.

What Happens After I have Used My Two Adjournments?

Once you have taken your two adjournments, there are no more adjournments without petitioning the Court formally showing “good cause.” If it becomes necessary to request and adjournment beyond the two 2-week adjournments, a formal request to the Court , known as a “motion” can be made but it must be for good cause.  This is something better done by a lawyer and typically can be a little costly.  This additional adjournment is at the discretion of the judge and is only going to be granted for a very valid reason.

Use Your Adjournments Wisely.

If you were paying attention you noticed the plaintiff has an unlimited amount of “free” adjournments while you, the defendant, only have two “free” adjournments and they are limited to two weeks each.  Therefore, if it is at all possible, ask the plaintiff to request the adjournment thereby saving yours for a later date.  This is possible when you are working with your lender to obtain a loan modification or other mode of resolving the foreclosure.

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