DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS, AS TRUSTEE FOR RESIDENTIAL ACCREDIT LOANS, INC., MORTGAGE ASSET-BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2005-QSI4, Plaintiff-Respondent,
DEBBIE A. WEINER and CLIFFORD R. WEINER, Defendants-Appellants.
Submitted October 23, 2018
appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division,
Somerset County, Docket No. F-026288-16.
Christopher D. Ferrara LLC, attorneys for appellants
(Christopher D. Ferrara, on the brief).
Rome LLP, attorneys for respondent (Michael P. Trainor, on
Judges Fisher, Geiger and Firko.
many years, New Jersey lacked a statute of limitations for
residential foreclosure actions. Instead, for more than a
century, our courts applied the time-bar used in adverse
possession actions: twenty years. See Colton v.
Depew, 60 N.J. Eq. 454, 464 (E. & A. 1900);
Security National Partners L.P. v. Mahler, 336
N.J.Super. 101, 106-07 (App. Div. 2000). In 2009, the
Legislature made up for lost time and enacted N.J.S.A.
2A:50-56.1, which codified Security National
Partners by declaring that a residential
foreclosure action "shall not be commenced following the
earliest of three points in time:
• Six years from "the date fixed for the
making of the last payment or the maturity date set forth in
the mortgage or the note," N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56.1(a);
• Thirty-six years from the date the mortgage
was recorded or, if not recorded, from the date of execution,
N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56.1(b); and
• Twenty years from the date of a default that
"has not been cured," N.J.S.A.
Defendants' contention that N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56.1(a)'s
six-year time-frame applies and bars this foreclosure action,
which was filed seven years after their uncured default, is
record reveals that defendant Debbie A. Weiner borrowed $657,
500 from Weichert Financial Services in 2005 and then
executed in Weichert's favor a promissory note that
required monthly payments, the last of which was scheduled
for June 2035. To secure the note's repayment, both
defendants executed a mortgage that was recorded in 2005 and
ultimately assigned to plaintiff Deutsche Bank Trust Company
is no dispute that defendants failed to make a scheduled
August 2009 payment and all later monthly payments. After
four discontinued suits, Deutsche Bank commenced this
foreclosure action in September 2016, more than seven years
after defendants' uncured default.
parties eventually cross-moved for summary judgment. The
judge granted Deutsche Bank's motion, denied
defendants' motion, and later denied defendants'
motion for reconsideration. Once final judgment was entered
in December 2017, defendants filed this timely appeal,
arguing: (1) summary judgment should not have been entered
because discovery was incomplete and there were genuine
disputes about Deutsche Bank's claim, its standing to
sue, and its status as a holder; (2) their answer ...