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Lakewood developer Tovia (Thomas) Rosenberg has failed to respond to a foreclosure lawsuit filed against him in New Jersey Foreclosure Court in connection with a duplex home at 432 Kiryas Sanz Avenue, FAA News has learned.

The Court today entered a default judgement in the matter, which is the first step for the property to eventually be sold.

As previously reported here on FAA News, back in July 2023, Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB, as Trustee for Normandy Capital Trust filed a lawsuit alleging the following:

On December 5, 2019, Tovia Rosenberg received a $450,000 commercial mortgage loan from ICE Lender Holdings LLC.

The purpose of this loan was to finance 432 Kiryas Sanz Avenue.

Interest on the loan was to be paid each month beginning on February 1, 2020, with the principal amount to become due and payable on January 1, 2021. Interest accrued at a rate of 8.00% per annum, on the basis of a 360-day year.

On January 18, 2023, as the mortgage was still not paid up, Mr. Rosenberg extended the loan to March 1, 2023. This extension raised the Interest Rate to 12.25% per annum, on the basis of a 360-day year.

On this extended deadline, the original principal amount of $450,000 was to be paid - yet, this entire amount is still owed, thus the mortgage has been defaulted upon.

In addition, the mortgage company is alleging that they have a valid reason to impose a much higher interest rate, as will be explained below.

As security for this construction loan, Mr. Rosenberg agreed to place the property as collateral (i.e., if he defaults on the loan, he will lose the property).

The mortgage includes a clause that says that the proceeds from the loan are to be used solely for business and commercial purposes and not for any personal, family, household or other noncommercial or farming or agricultural purposes.

Additionally, the mortgage agreement stipulates that if the borrower vests, sells, transfers, or conveys the property to anyone else, it shall be deemed an Event of Default.

The mortgage agreement includes a stipulation that if the borrower fails to make any payment within 5 days that such payment is due, such failure shall constitute an Event of Default. Furthermore, if any payment is not paid within five 5 days from the date such payment is due, the borrower shall pay an Exit Fee in an amount equal to 10% of any missed payment under the Note.

In case of default, the lender is entitled to impose the default rate of interest on the outstanding principal balance owed, calculated at a rate equal to the lesser of the maximum rate permitted by applicable law or 23% per annum above the interest rate (the “Default Rate”).

On December 23, 2021, Mr. Rosenberg transferred the property to Mikvah Tehara South Lakewood Inc - in violation of the mortgage agreement which prohibits transferring the property to anyone else.

Mikvah Tehara South Lakewood Inc has an office located at 39 Havens Avenue in Lakewood. This is the address of the Sanz Klausenberg Beis Medrash.

By transferring the property to Mikvah Tehara South Lakewood Inc on December 23, 2021, the loan was defaulted upon, and therefore the higher interest rate of 23% should be added as of that date.

According to the bank, an additional issue is that by the time he extended the mortgage (January 18, 2023), Mr. Rosenberg had already transferred the property to Mikvah Tehara South Lakewood Inc.

The mortgage agreement provides that the borrower is liable for all costs incurred for collecting, securing or attempting to collect or secure any amounts due including reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs incurred by the lender together with interest thereon.

The Complaint was filed by New York Attorney Aaron Davis, Esq.

In addition to filing a foreclosure lawsuit in Superior Court, the lender also filed a Notice of Lis Pendens with the Ocean County Clerk. This filing warns potential buyers of the property that a foreclosure action has been filed.

432 Kiryas Sanz Avenue now contains a duplex home with a finished basement.

The foreclosure complaint was filed on June 28, 2023. Mr. Rosenberg was served on July 6, 2023. As a result, he had until August 10, 2023, to answer the complaint. However, in all this time he failed to answer the complaint.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the bank filed a motion seeking default judgement.

Per court rules, default judgment will be entered in the discretion of the Court unless the Respondent files an objection - with specificity - within 10 days after the date of service of the motion.

The motion states that by transferring the property to Mikvah Tehara South Lakewood Inc - in violation of the commercial mortgage agreement - Mr. Rosenberg already caused an immediate default of the mortgage, which permits the lender to now seek to seize and sell the property, and to collect a much higher interest rate.

Accordingly, the bank calculated default judgement to be $512,259.16 including interest and fees.

As Mr. Rosenberg has not responded to this latest motion, the Court today entered a default judgement on the matter.

The next step is for the court to issue a writ of execution. The writ instructs the county sheriff to sell the property at public auction. The sheriff has 150 days from the writ of execution to auction the property.

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