The new six-year statute of limitations under amended subsection N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56.1c, applicable to residential mortgage foreclosures under the Fair Foreclosure Act, is a game changer. The six-year period, applicable to residential mortgages executed on or after April 29, 2019, runs from the date on which the debtor defaulted. It reduces the limitation period under N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56.1c from 20 years to six years and ostensibly raises the specter of a mortgagor getting a “free house” if foreclosure is barred by the statute.
See Judge Kaplan’s prescient admonition and opinion in In re Washington, 2014 WL 5714586 (Bkrtcy. D.N.J.2014)—delivered with the “figurative hand holding the nose”—applying an accelerated six-year statute of limitations under N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56.1a and giving Gordon A. Washington, the debtor, a “free house.” The decision received national attention but was subsequently reversed. So Mr. Washington’s free house was short lived.