Commonly Asked Foreclosure Questions

Answered by NJ Foreclosure Attorneys

Foreclosure FAQs Answered by NJ Foreclosure AttorneysThe New Jersey foreclosure attorneys at Ast & Schmidt, P.C. answer your questions about mortgage and foreclosure help. David Ast and Robert Schmidt have a combined total of 40 years’ experience assisting homeowners in financial difficulty. These are some of the common foreclosure questions from our clients.

How long does a foreclosure take?

A foreclosure takes about 12 to 18 months, from the time the mortgage company files foreclosure until the mortgage company is able to schedule a sheriff’s sale if you do nothing to slow it down or to stop it. You may qualify for New Jersey foreclosure mediation within 60 days from the service of the Foreclosure Summons and Complaint, which could help you avoid the loss of your home because of a foreclosure sale.

Can I qualify for New Jersey foreclosure mediation if I have filed for bankruptcy?

The U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey ruled that if you qualify for mediation, you can participate, even in bankruptcy. With mediation, you may be able to negotiate a loan modification or find an alternative to foreclosure. The Bankruptcy Court also has a Loss Mitigation Program designed to help homeowners modify their mortgages and keep their homes.

I do not plan to stay in my home. What are my options other than foreclosure?

If your mortgage balance is higher than your home’s value, then consider a short sale. If approved, the lender agrees to the sale of the property and accepts the net sale price to settle the mortgage. Another option is a deed in lieu of foreclosure, where you transfer the property directly to the lender. These have tax and credit consequences, so be sure to obtain advice from a New Jersey foreclosure attorney.

Is there a way to keep my home if I catch up on my payments?

Some lenders will set up a repayment plan, or arrange a forbearance agreement. You could be able to postpone payments, add fees to your monthly payment or pay the delinquency at the end of the loan. Many homeowners run into problems trying to deal directly with the mortgage company, which is why we always recommend consulting with a foreclosure lawyer.

I have heard people talking about strategic default. Can I do that?

This is the decision to stop paying your mortgage and either walk away or stay in the home during the foreclosure process. This strategy may offer you the ability to retain possession of your home during the long foreclosure process while you may be able to save money that you would otherwise have paid as mortgage payments or rent if you move out. If this is done after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it may have little effect upon your credit score. Without Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this may lower your credit score, however. The strategic default with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may provide significant benefits that should be discussed with an attorney knowledgeable in foreclosure and bankruptcy.

What is so important about getting help from a New Jersey foreclosure attorney?

You cannot get quality information from an anonymous website or distant call center. Remember that the customer service representatives at the mortgage company are not your friends. Whether you seek a loan modification, foreclosure mediation or a way to avoid foreclosure, you need advice from an attorney who knows your community. Contact Ast & Schmidt, P.C. for a free consultation to discuss your foreclosure questions and options.