On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Essex County, Docket No. F-20523-04.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Parker and Seltzer.
Defendant JoAnn Jones, administratrix of the estate of her mother, defendant Margaret Cummings, appeals from an order entered on April 24, 2006 denying her motion to vacate the Sheriff's Sale of her deceased mother's home.
The facts relevant to this appeal are as follows. On May 21, 1993, Margaret Cummings executed a fifteen-year note and mortgage to Gibraltor Savings Bank, SLA. The note, in the amount of $28,000, had an initial interest rate of 10.59 percent per annum. The mortgage secured the loan on Mrs. Cummings's home at 149 Vassar Avenue in Newark. The mortgage was subsequently assigned to plaintiff, Home Loan Investment Bank, FSB (Home Loan). Mrs. Cummings died some time before October 3, 2001 and her daughter, JoAnn Jones, was appointed administratrix of her mother's estate.
In July 2004, the mortgage fell into default. On November 30, 2004, Home Loan filed a complaint in foreclosure. On February 4, 2005, Ms. Jones filed an answer in the form of a letter, which stated in its entirety:
Dear Superior Court of New Jersey,
I am herewith submitting a "pro se" answer in response to the summons served on 12/31/04!
You should see what they have done to our home in the interim!! It's horrendous!!
I'm still counter-suing the Plaintiffs (HL&IB) for attempted theft of my chemically deceased mother's/our home, and for aggravated harassment, emotional distress and depraved indifference for my humanity, etc.!
I would also like to know why -- what looked like my last "pro se" response was returned to me in the self-addressed envelope you instructed to be submitted, without explanation accompanying it for the $135.00 fee that was paid?
At what point do you issue a "court date" so that we all appear before you?
JoAnn Jones (eldest daughter)
Ms. Jones's answer was deemed non-contesting because she failed to deny the allegations or to plead any defenses. Accordingly, on September 26, 2005, final judgment was entered in the amount of $16,811.97. A writ of execution was issued to the Essex County Sheriff.
Sale of the property was scheduled for December 20, 2005 pursuant to the writ of execution. On November 10, 2005, notice of the sale was sent to Ms. Jones by certified mail, return receipt requested, at 149 Vassar Avenue, Newark. On December 20, 2005, Ms. Jones made her first request for a statutory adjournment of the Sheriff's Sale. The sale was postponed to January ...