Alternatives to Mortgage Foreclosure in New Jersey
If you have been served with a foreclosure complaint for failing to make payments on your mortgage, and you would like to keep your home, there are several options available to you: loan modifications, NJ HomeKeeper program, foreclosure mediation, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. All these programs are available to New Jersey Homeowners, and our attorneys can help you pursue each.
The Home Affordable Modification Program is a federal program which can lower your monthly mortgage payments and/or wrap arrearages into your loan enabling you to retain ownership of your home. It typically extends the length of your mortgage to forty year mortgage and lowers your interest rate. In order to be considered for a modification, you must submit an application to your lender accompanied by all required back up documentation. This includes a hardship affidavit, tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, statement of expense, and a recent utility bill.
This can be a difficult process; the lender often requests the same documentation multiple times, or requests minor changes to the documents which have been submitted. Additionally, if time passes after the documents have been submitted without the lender’s review, the lender may require updated current documents be resubmitted. This can be frustrating for the homeowner who is concerned about losing their home. However, persistence can pay off.
The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program is a New Jersey program which provides financial assistance to homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed and are therefore at risk of losing their homes. To be eligible, you must demonstrate that you were making your mortgage payments until the time you became unemployed (or underemployed) and that the unemployment occurred not more than 36 months before the date of the Homekeeper application. If eligible, NJ Homekeepers can provide up to $48,000 over a period of 24 months which can be used to help make current payments or pay arrearages. The funds provided by NJ Homekeepers are a loan which must be paid back if the homeowner sells, refinances, transfers ownership or no longer occupies the property within 10 years.