Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v. Jensen, et al

In the recent decision of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc v. Jensen, et al, the court ruled the judgment held by the father against his former wife for child support arrearages and which operated as a lien on his former spouse’s residence did not take priority upon the foreclosure of the residence. This ruling comes despite the fact that the father’s judgment was recorded first and would presumably serve the best interests of the child involved. The Court based it’s decision on N.J.S.A. 46-9-8 which states that a purchase money mortgage – which was held by the plaintiff in this matter- takes priority and will be paid before the child support judgment is satisfied. While this is a technically a correct reading of the statute, it runs contrary to the parens patriae obligation the court has to protect the best interests of the child.

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