A Comprehensive Guide to Foreclosure Prevention Alternatives in NJ

New Jersey Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Due to Economic Challenges Can Often Find Hope With the Right Legal Counsel

Facing Foreclosure? Know the Other Routes in New JerseyThe threat of losing one’s home is terrifying, but unfortunately, rising economic instability, inflation, gentrification, and other factors are making such a possibility more of a reality for many New Jersey homeowners. Foreclosure is the seizure of property under mortgage by the lender when the homeowner is no longer able to make their mortgage payments. If you have gotten a Notice of Intent to Foreclose in New Jersey, it could feel like your options for saving your home and lifestyle are starkly limited. Fortunately, with a comprehensive understanding of the alternatives that may be available to you, as well as the help of a knowledgeable foreclosure attorney, you may be able to change your fate before it’s too late.

Understanding Notices and Navigating Next Steps

If you have received a Notice of Intent to Foreclose from your lender, it means that you have defaulted on your mortgage. Default could be missing only one payment. If you receive a Notice of Intent to Foreclose, the document will outline why you are in default of the terms of the loan and how you can cure your default before a formal complaint is filed. At this point, you have at least 30 days to take next steps to stop the foreclosure process, but you need to act fast. Contact a foreclosure attorney to help you navigate possible next steps so you can get back on track with payments. Possible options include full payment of the owed amount, a payment retention, loan modification that allows you to adjust payments and interest rates for a time or permanently, or a short sale of the property before foreclosure if necessary.

Acting Swiftly Within the 30-Day Grace Period

If curing the default is your only option, you need to handle it within the allotted 30 day grace period before the lender files an official foreclosure complaint. The lender has up to 120 days after delivering the Notice of Intent to Foreclose to file the complaint with the court, but they must give you a month to cure the default or negotiate another option.

Contesting Foreclosure Complaints in Court

If you, the homeowner, is unable to cure the default or negotiate an updated loan agreement, the lender will likely file a formal Complaint with the court. The Complaint and a court Summons is delivered to the homeowner, who has 35 days to file an Answer contesting the legality of the Complaint and move to foreclose. If the homeowner, now a defendant, contests the legality of the foreclosure Complaint in their formal Answer with the Office of Foreclosure, the case will move forward in Superior Court to a discovery process and potential trial. If the homeowner does not contest the legality of the Complaint (instead responding in their Answer, perhaps, that financial burden is the reason for default), or if the homeowner does not file an Answer, foreclosure of the property will move ahead.

Summary Judgment Impact on Foreclosure Proceedings

In most cases, after a homeowner files an Answer contesting the Complaint with the Office of Foreclosure, the lender will request a motion for summary judgment with the court. This motion asks the superior court judge to rule in their favor and move forward with foreclosure instead of having a trial. The homeowner has an opportunity to respond to this motion, but if they do not, the judge will likely move forward with a final judgment of default as if there was no contest to the Complaint. For this reason, it is essential to have a foreclosure attorney on your side to keep up with all of the required back-and-forth to ensure that your rights are protected.

Explore Your Options Before Sheriff’s Sale Auction

Ensure Your Rights Are Protected by Having a Foreclosure Attorney on Your Side in Point Pleasant NJAfter the court issues a final judgment of default to the lender, it produces a writ of execution ordering the Sheriff to sell the property at a public auction. You will get a notice of the scheduled date of Sheriff’s Sale. At this point, all hope is still not lost. While the lender no longer has to accept repayment of debt after final judgment, you can still apply for a loan modification up to 37 days before the scheduled sale. You can also delay the sale twice by applying in person with the Sheriff for an adjournment. A foreclosure attorney will walk you through these highly time-sensitive processes.

Consult Our Real Estate Lawyers for Help Assessing Your Options for Preventing the Foreclosure Process in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ

As you can see, the process of foreclosure in New Jersey is complex and contains many nuances and diversions. Our team at The Bronzino Law Firm has compassionately and skillfully helped many clients reroute to avoid foreclosures in Manchester, Red Bank, Freehold, Sea Bright, Rumson, Lacey, Jackson, Point Pleasant, and other neighborhoods, towns, and cities in and around Monmouth and Ocean County. It is always our goal to give straight answers and if possible, help keep our clients in their homes. Through each stage of the foreclosure process, you may have options to get out of the mess, but unless you have skilled support, you may miss your narrow windows of opportunity. Contact us today at (732) 812-3102 for a free consultation to discuss your situation.