Monmouth County Bankruptcy Lawyer explains the foreclosure process.

Wednesday , 29, April 2015 Comments Off on Monmouth County Bankruptcy Lawyer explains the foreclosure process.

Foreclosure lawyer in Manalapan NJ.

As a Monmouth County Bankruptcy Lawyer here are some common questions I get. How long does it take to foreclose my home? How much time do I have left in my foreclosed home? When is the Sheriff’s sale? All of these are common questions heard by the our Ocean County Foreclosure Lawyers.  When you fall behind on your mortgage payments the bank may begin the the process of foreclosing on your Monmouth County Home. There is common knowledge in today’s real estate marketplace that foreclosures are common occurrences.  That said many homeowner who face foreclosure are curious as to how the process works so that they can try to estimate how much time they have left in their homes or if there is a chance that they can fight it. In New Jersey we have what is call a judicial foreclosure process which makes so that the banks must initiate a lawsuit in court in order to take title and possession back to the property at question.

How the Judicial Process Starts:

Likely you will have missed in excess of two payments before the bank takes action. In some cases payments have not been made for a greater period of time. In most cases the bank will not take action until you have missed at least three payments. Keep in mind that all banks act independently and your banks policy, the number of properties your bank has in its portfolio, as well as, terms specific to your mortgage will influence how quickly your bank moves to begin the foreclosure process. Once your bank does decide to move forward  it will notify you by certified mail 30 days before it initiates any action against you as per N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56. This notice will tell you what you can do to “cure” the default – usually you have to pay the bank everything you owe.

Case Goes to Court:

At some point in time after receiving the notice pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56, an estimated 30 – 90 days, the bank will file its complaint with the Office of the Superior Court Clerk, Foreclosure Processing Services. A copy of the complaint will be served upon you. After receipt and as you will be advised in the summons – you 35 days to answer the complaint.  If you answer and your answer (pleading )creates a dispute requiring a judicial decision, the foreclosure file is sent to the General Equity judge in the county of venue, that is, the county where the property is located. Thereafter, the dispute will be resolved by the General Equity Judge. This is the process a lawyer can use to find legal challenges to the banks right to foreclose and hold off the foreclosure until the challenges are resolved, sometimes in your favor. The lawyer will present your side of the case and any evidence and/or expert reports challenging the legality of the foreclosure. This process usually takes a couple of months, depending on the court’s schedule. If the court finds against you, it will enter a judgment in favor of the bank, giving the bank the right to sell your house. Successful challenges can come in the form of the statute of limitations. “In New Jersey, the statute of limitations is six years. While Judge Michael Kaplan of the Bankruptcy Court in Trenton affirmed a longstanding position he and others had taken during the foreclosure crisis that “No one gets a free house,” he said his court had retreated from that position in November “with a measure of disquiet and chagrin” after dismissing a borrower’s case in November 2014. It remains to be seen whether the dismissal of that case will set a precedent as courts in judicial states seek to clear their backlogs of foreclosure cases amid the consistently declining foreclosure volume four to five years after the crisis peaked.”

If you do not file a written answer the foreclosure complaint, you are admitting the claims of the foreclosure complaint. The lender-plaintiff can seek entry of a default against you and thereafter the lender-plaintiff can seek a default judgment. A foreclosure judgment either orders the sale of a particular property to satisfy a debt or awards title to the property to the plaintiff. A foreclosure judgment is not a money judgment that can be collected by wage garnishments or executions against personal property. However, a mortgagee may seek to recover any deficiency which remains following a foreclosure sale in a separate action filed in the Law Division. For residential mortgage deficiency actions, damages that may be recovered are limited to the difference between the mortgage debt and the fair market value of the property. An unanswered or uncontested matter usually takes about a month for a case to go through this administrative process


After the Judgment

After the Judgment for foreclosure the bank must then take further step to take back title to your home or pass title a 3rd party buyer.  In order to sell your home, it must advertise the sale weekly for four weeks in a local newspaper. That gives you at least another 4 weeks after the entry of judgment against you. If the bank has a number of other foreclosed properties in its portfolio, which many of the larger banks do, there is a higher rate of probability that the bank will not schedule the sheriff’s sale immediately following the judgment, you may have even more time.

More time

As explained above its is estimated that your have approximately four to six months from your first missed payment to a sheriff’s sale. Realistically, taking into consideration all the variables that play into the Foreclosure market you will likely have even more than the four to six months. Foreclosures in New Jersey are still backlogged substantially from the crises period. “New Jersey also took another unfortunate first place, passing New York for the average length of time to complete a foreclosure, at 1,103 days or just over three years, according to CoreLogic.” This of course is the average and each case has it own set of facts and circumstance. Either way it can’t hurt to have an Attorney look at your case.

Foreclosure can be avoided

Many foreclosures can be prevented by calling your mortgage company and asking to speak to someone in the “Loss Mitigation Department” about loan workout solutions, such as, a repayment plan, loan modification agreement, forbearance agreement, loan assumption, or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or short sale. You may also be eligible for various State and Federal foreclosure prevention program help. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and the New Jersey Housing Resource Center web sites should be consulted. The sooner you ask for help, the easier it is to formulate a plan to save your home.

Until the entry of final judgment against you, you may “cure” your default by catching up on missed payments and late fees. Until the sheriff’s sale, you may “redeem” your property by paying off the loan, refinancing, or participating in a loan modification plan. As mentioned above loss mitigation of workout solutions may be available.

How can Bankruptcy Help

The “automatic stay” is the part of the federal bankruptcy law which immediately blocks a foreclosure from happening. The very act of filing your case “operates as a stay,” as a court order stopping “any act to… enforce [any lien] against any property of the debtor…  .” Once you are in bankruptcy is as a forum for debtors and lenders to work on a resolution when a debtor’s residential property is at risk of foreclosure. The LMP facilitates resolutions by opening and maintaining the lines of communication between the debtors’ and lenders’ decision makers. The LMP encourages the parties to finalize a feasible and beneficial agreement with the assistance and supervision of the Bankruptcy Court. Talk to one of Lawyers at Riviere Cresci & Singer LLC today about your home and how we can help.