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On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit issued an important decision in the case of Riccio v. Sentry Credit, Inc., approving oral communication as a method to dispute the validity of a debt. This decision overruled Graziano v. Harrison 950 F.2d 107 (3d Cir. 1991), a long-standing case requiring a writing to dispute a debt and will affect all consumer debt collectors including those collecting debt for community associations.

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Foreclosure rates for residential properties continue to drop. Black Knight Financial Services reported that in 2016, the national foreclosure rate dropped by 30 percent. The first quarter of 2017 reports the lowest rate of foreclosure activity since 2006.

As the inventory of foreclosed properties lessens, housing markets will see an increase in value. Owners should start to see home values on the rise.

While foreclosure rates nationwide are the lowest they have been in 11 years, foreclosures in New Jersey remain among the top ten highest in the country.
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According to a September report from RealtyTrac, nationwide foreclosure rates have dropped 24% from a year ago. For the first time since the real estate crisis foreclosure timelines have also decreased. Experts suggest the reduction in timelines is the best indication of a full market recovery because it shows states are clearing the backlog of foreclosures.

Unfortunately this improvement has not carried over to New Jersey which still ranks #2 for the highest foreclosure rates.
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Many people do not realize that Condominium Associations can foreclose units in the same manner as a mortgagee, pursuant to N.JS.A. 46:8B-21.

The Complaint to Foreclose is filed in the County where the unit is located. A copy of the filed Complaint is then served upon the unit owner via personal service. The unit owner will have 35 days to file an Answer to the Association’s Complaint. In the event the Unit Owner fails to file an Answer, the Association can proceed with filing a Request to Enter Default.


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