Struggling with debt and falling behind on a mortgage can make a person feel scared and isolated. However, it is important to understand that you are not alone if you are in this situation. Hundreds of thousands of other people can go through this process every year.
Further, for the fifth year in a row, New Jersey topped the list of states with homes in foreclosure. If you are one of the many people in this state facing possible foreclosure, know that you still have options to recover and possibly protect your home.
Finding alternative solutions
Often, it is possible for homeowners to remedy a situation before a lender files the foreclosure complaint in court.
One option is to pay the amount you owe within 30 days of receiving the notice of foreclosure.
Other options can include qualifying for a forbearance, loan extension or loan modification. These options involve negotiations with lenders. For some people with unmanageable debt beyond a mortgage, more aggressive debt relief solutions like bankruptcy may be worth considering.
Fighting unfair lenders
In some cases, difficulties with mortgage payments stem from unfair, inconsistent or possibly illegal actions by a lender.
Banks and other lenders might engage in discrimination, predatory lending and unlawful collection tactics. They may make promises they do not keep, charge fees for services they do not provide, or penalize homeowners for administrative mistakes to such an extent that their mortgage payments become unmanageable.
When mortgage lenders use these and other illegal tactics, homeowners may be able to protect their home by fighting foreclosure actions in court.
Know that the clock is ticking
It is natural to panic after learning of foreclosure actions against your home. However, try to stay calm. People do not lose their homes overnight; you have time to respond to the notice and complaint, and there are opportunities throughout the process that can give you additional time to remedy the situation.
That said, there is a clock ticking. If you are facing foreclosure proceedings in New Jersey, confront the situation as soon as possible to give yourself more time and more options to fight foreclosure.