Foreclosure on a Tax Sale Certificate is Averted on Particular Facts

Green Knight Capital, LLC v. Calderon, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2021). This was an action to foreclose a tax sale certificate. The sequence of procedural events was somewhat out of order. The bottom line was that the Chancery Division granted a motion for intervention, by a party who had already tendered the full redemption amount to the tax collector, and denied plaintiff’s motion to bar redemption. Plaintiff also filed a motion to set the time, place, and amount of redemption, but the Chancery Division denied that motion as moot.

Plaintiff appealed, asserting that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Simon v. Cronecker, 189 N.J. 304 (2007), and its companion case, Simon v. Rando, 189 N.J. 339 (2007), involved identical facts and compelled a ruling for plaintiff. In a concise opinion by Judge Geiger, the Appellate Division disagreed and affirmed.

After setting forth in detail the facts of Cronecker and Rando, Judge Geiger found them distinguishable. “Here, in contrast to Cronecker, an order setting the time, place, and amount of redemption was never entered, much less entered before respondent tendered the redemption amount and filed its motion to intervene. And, unlike in this matter, the investor in Rando waited until twenty-four days after the last date to redeem and twenty-three days after the entry of judgment to move to intervene in the foreclosure action. We thus find these facts materially distinguishable. We hold that when an investor has an interest in the property in foreclosure, is prepared to redeem the tax sale certificate, and files a motion to intervene in the foreclosure action before the entry of an order setting the last date for redemption, the investor is permitted to intervene and redeem the tax certificate.”