GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. TamiLynn Willoughby | The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed, concluding Willoughby and GMAC entered into an enforceable settlement agreement through the Foreclosure Mediation Program

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GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. TamiLynn Willoughby | The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed, concluding Willoughby and GMAC entered into an enforceable settlement agreement through the Foreclosure Mediation Program

GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. TamiLynn Willoughby | The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed, concluding Willoughby and GMAC entered into an enforceable settlement agreement through the Foreclosure Mediation Program

GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. TamiLynn Willoughby

Court: Supreme Court of New Jersey

Docket: a-97-15

Opinion Date: July 31, 2017

Judge: Barry T. Albin

Areas of Law: Arbitration & Mediation, Real Estate & Property Law

In November 2008, following the collapse of the housing market, the New Jersey Supreme Court implemented a statewide Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program to address the economic crisis that left many facing the loss of their homes. After defaulting on her home loan with plaintiff GMAC Mortgage, LLC, defendant TamiLynn Willoughby entered into the Foreclosure Mediation Program. The mediation process led to an agreement between GMAC and Willoughby that gave Willoughby a path to save her home through a permanent modification of the loan. The agreement, executed in 2010, set forth the required down payment and monthly payments, the unpaid principal balance, the amount in arrears, and the length and interest rate of the loan. Willoughby complied with that agreement, paying the down payment and each monthly installment for one year. Then, GMAC began sending Willoughby proposals differing from the 2010 agreement, which GMAC claimed was provisional. Willoughby moved to enforce the 2010 settlement agreement, but instead the chancery court ordered additional mediation sessions. Willoughby never accepted in writing any of GMAC s proposals to modify the original agreement. Protracted litigation ensued. Willoughby’s efforts to enforce the 2010 settlement agreement proved fruitless, and GMAC s foreclosure action ended with a Sheriff’s sale of Willoughby’s home. Willoughby was denied relief by the chancery court, which held that the 2010 mediation agreement was provisional and not enforceable as a final settlement agreement. The Appellate Division affirmed. The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed, concluding Willoughby and GMAC entered into an enforceable settlement agreement through the Foreclosure Mediation Program. The case was remanded to the chancery court to consider an appropriate remedy.

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