July 28, 2011
NPL INVESTMENT TRUST 1, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
EVELYN CIMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Essex County, Docket No. F-24207-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued June 8, 2011
Before Judges Cuff and Fasciale.
In this foreclosure case, we review an interlocutory order denying defendant Evelyn Ciman's motion to stay a sheriff's sale of her home.
On December 17, 2010, Ciman filed her motion to stay the sale and argued that the foreclosure judgment was invalid. The judge denied the motion. After the judge denied the motion, the Supreme Court adopted emergency amendments to Rules 4:64-1 and 4:64-2 that imposed new procedural requirements for plaintiffs in residential foreclosure actions. We agreed to stay the sale pending appeal.
In April 2011, NPL's attorney filed a certification of diligent inquiry to comply with the newly adopted rule amendments. NPL's counsel stated that she communicated with an individual from NPL's loan servicer who reviewed the "documents submitted to the court and that . . . [the employee of the loan servicer] confirmed their accuracy." NPL's counsel also stated that she personally "inspect[ed] . . . the loan information supplied by [NPL]," and that she communicated with an NPL employee.
On June 9, 2011, the Court adopted substantial amendments to the rules governing mortgage foreclosure actions. The rules were effective immediately. In an order accompanying the newly adopted rules, the Chief Justice addressed cases in which judgment was entered but no sale of the property has occurred, as in this case. The order provides in part that in all residential mortgage foreclosure actions in which judgment has been entered but no sale of the property has occurred as of [June 9, 2011], plaintiff's counsel before the sale of the property shall be required to file an affidavit, . . . (a) stating that the attorney has communicated with an employee or employees of the plaintiff or the plaintiff's mortgage loan servicer (1) who personally reviewed the affidavit of amount due and the original or true copy of the note, mortgage, and recorded assignments, if any, submitted to the court, and (2) confirmed their accuracy; (b) setting out the date and mode of communication employed; (c) setting out the name(s), title(s) and responsibilities in those titles of the plaintiff's loan servicer with whom the attorney ommunicated; and (d) attesting that the complaint and all subsequent documents filed with the court comport with the requirements of Rule 1:4-8(a).[*fn1 ]
As of June 9, 2011, NPL had obtained a judgment and the sale of the property had been stayed. We affirm and vacate this court's order staying the sale of Ciman's property subject to full compliance with the newly adopted rules.