Your home is likely your most valuable asset and could be the one you are most reluctant to lose. If you are at risk of foreclosure proceedings, you are probably experiencing severe stress and anxiety.
Our foreclosure defense lawyer knows how to help someone in Cranford. In many cases, our experienced attorneys can stop the foreclosure so you can continue to live in your home while you manage your debt.
If you are falling behind on your mortgage payments, it is helpful to understand the foreclosure process and what would have to happen for you to lose your home. In most cases, you have many months to stop the process by bringing your late payments up to date. However, the more time that passes, the more interest and penalties you may have to pay before your lender is satisfied.
The sooner you consult with our attorney, the more options they will have to resolve the foreclosure and allow you to stay in your Cranford home. You could save your home by negotiating a plan with the lender to bring your mortgage payments current over time or renegotiating your current loan. You also have the option of paying the amount due up until a court enters a Final Judgment of Foreclosure.
In very specific cases, if you cannot pay what you owe, giving up your home through a short sale or offering the bank a deed in lieu of foreclosure can free you to move forward without mortgage debt. It is understandable if you want to keep your home, and filing for bankruptcy is often a viable option in that situation.
Under the New Jersey Fair Foreclosure Act, a mortgage company must send you a Notice of Intention to Foreclose – or NOI – at least 30 days before filing a foreclosure complaint. Banks do not typically send a Notice of Intention to Foreclose until you are at least three to four months behind in your mortgage payments. If you have the money to bring your account up to date, the bank cannot proceed further. If you have enough only to make a partial payment and need time to bring the loan up to date or need to seek a loan modification, our foreclosure attorney could help you seek to negotiate an agreement with the lender.
If you cannot make any payments or the bank will not negotiate a solution in time, they may file a complaint in civil court. You have 35 days to file an answer the complaint. Your answer could contest the foreclosure and present defenses alleging the foreclosure is not justified.
When a mortgage lender files a complaint seeking foreclosure in Cranford, your attorney can file an answer contesting the action. Sometimes the lender’s procedures or paperwork are not fully compliant with the law or there are other legal challenges to the foreclosure. In such cases, your legal representative could bring the error to the court’s attention and it’s possible that the foreclosure case could be dismissed.
The lender is likely to fix the error and refile the complaint. However, contesting the foreclosure and getting a dismissal without prejudice allows you more time to bring your loan current. Sometimes, we can show the lender does not have the right to foreclose. In such cases, a judge might dismiss a foreclosure with prejudice, meaning the lender cannot refile. Although this outcome is very rare, it does happen occasionally.
Even if the challenges raised in an answer do not lead to the dismissal of the complaint, it may allow you more time to work out a solution to resolve the foreclosure.
If the lender ultimately proves you owe the money but cannot bring your mortgage current and the lender has the right to foreclose, the court may enter a Final Judgment of Foreclosure and a Writ of Execution. Once these documents are issued, the Sheriff may schedule a sale of the property.
The Sheriff’s Office in your county holds periodic auctions where they sell foreclosed properties to the highest bidder. In most counties, these auctions happen twice per month. You will receive a notice from the Sheriff when your property is scheduled for auction – or Sheriff’s Sale.
You have the right to two adjournments of your Sheriff’s Sale, which postpones the auction of your property for at least 28 days each time. This allows you more time to find alternative housing or secure the funds to keep your home. An attorney could guide you through the process of requesting an adjournment in Cranford.
When your home at auction, you still have an opportunity to get it back. New Jersey Statutes Annotated § 2A:50-4 allows you a right of redemption. If you can pay off the mortgage in full within ten days of the property’s sale, the sale is void and you will own your home. These options are very complicated and should only be considered after meeting with an experienced attorney.
If you risk losing your home because you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, all is not lost. Many options are available that could save your home.
Contact our foreclosure defense lawyer if you believe your Cranford home is at risk. We can craft a solution that allows you to keep your assets and ease the financial pressure. Learn more during a free case review.