Tag Archives: foreclosure

Predicting the Speed of a Bank Foreclosure

One of the scariest words in a homeowners’ vocabulary is foreclosure, the possibility that you might lose your house and be forced to move out of everything you’ve worked and strived for. If you’re struggling with paying off your mortgage, this can be a very real fear. New Jersey is among the highest in the state for bank foreclosure, and few signs point to the market getting any better. However, just because you’ve missed a payment or two doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. The timeline for a bank to begin the foreclosure process is typically as follows.

The notifications begin: For just one missed payment, the situation is not so dire as all that. You’ll have about 90 days after a first payment before the bank determines you have defaulted on your mortgage, and needs to notify you of this by certified mail at least thirty days before they take any foreclosure-causing actions. After you have missed three or more payments, you have a dramatically higher change of being foreclosed upon. The notice they will be sending you details exactly what you’ll have to do to prevent the foreclosure, and this generally means paying off your outstanding balance.

The court process begins: The administrative process for the bank’s claim against you takes quite some time, beginning with the claim first filed in court, which you will receive a copy of as well. You have thirty five days to answer the complaint after you’ve received it, after which you can do one of three options; you can choose to not respond, you can respond with a challenge to the claim, or you can respond in the affirmative that the bank is correct in their assumption of your debt. The case will move to the Office of Foreclosure, which will take about a month to go through extensive paperwork and administration for the judgement of you against the bank.

The bank sells your house: After and if the court has determined that the bank has the right to sell your property, it must be advertised for at least four weeks in the local newspaper, which means that you’ll have at the very least another month before needing to move out. In New Jersey, we have the second longest foreclosure timeline in the US, with an average of nearly three years from the beginning of a missed payment until the house is sold and you would be formally evicted.  This gives you ample time to work with an experienced attorney to help you through the process, stop the foreclosure, and get your life back to normal.

Bankruptcy or Mortgage Renegotiation can be a solution: While bankruptcy will not erase the loan you’ve taken out on your mortgage and need to repay, it can have a seriously positive impact on the time you’ll need to repay it. This is a powerful tool that can help to bring you out of crippling debt by stopping all collection actions and alleviate your financial troubles. This is only effective if done in an official bankruptcy court. For a free consultation about my experience and mortgage renegotiation services, call me, David H. Kaplan, today at 973-426-0021.


Fighting Foreclosure in NJ

A mortgage lender cannot simply take your property, no matter how late you may be on your payments. Instead, New Jersey law requires that mortgage lenders follow specific procedures in order to lawfully foreclose on a property. As part of the process, property owners have the right to fight back against the foreclosure by raising any legal defenses that may apply in their case. The following are only some ways that an attorney can help you defend against a foreclosure.

Procedural defects – There are many ways that a mortgage lender can fail to follow the proper procedures for a judicial foreclosure under New Jersey law, including:

  • Not providing proper notice of the intent to foreclose with all of the required information;
  • Improperly filing the foreclosure complaint with the court;
  • Improper service of the complaint and summons;
  • Missing other important deadlines.

While procedural defects may get a case dismissed, the lender will likely have the opportunity to refile the case and follow correct procedures. However, during this time, you will have the opportunity to figure out a way to catch up on your payments and avoid foreclosure.

Promissory note – Only the company that currently owns your mortgage can file for foreclosure and the court requires that lenders provide proof of ownership of the loan by providing the original promissory note you signed. If the mortgage has been bought and sold numerous times, the company may not have adequate proof of ownership.

Lender mistakes – Some foreclosures are initiated after a mortgage lender made a mistake. For example, if the company simply failed to properly record payments that you made. By presenting evidence that you were not actually in default, you can often successfully challenge the foreclosure.

Predatory lending – Predatory lending occurs when a mortgage lender uses fraudulent or unfair tactics to take advantage of borrowers. If your lender has used high penalties for prepayment, inflated appraisals or interest rates, or any other unfair terms, the court can order the foreclosure to be stopped.

Call an experienced New Jersey foreclosure defense lawyer for a consultation

Homeowners who are facing foreclosure often have many legal options of which they may not be aware. To protect your property rights and avoid unnecessary and/or wrongful foreclosure, you should always discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney who understands how to use the law to fight NJ foreclosures. The sooner you act, the sooner we can begin working on protecting your homeowner’s rights, so please call The Law Office of David H. Kaplan for a free consultation today.