New Jersey lawyer finds smart solutions for homeowners in mortgage trouble
Unforeseen financial difficulties can make it difficult for homeowners to meet their mortgage obligations. While the bank will likely forgive a few late payments, mortgagors who continue in arrears may face drastic measures, such as accelerated repayment demands and eventually foreclosure, which means losing the property. Fortunately, there are options for working out ways to protect your property while you get back on your feet financially. The New Jersey Law Offices of James C. Zimmermann helps homeowners in in Sussex, Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties resolve their mortgage debt problems.
Employing a range of foreclosure-prevention strategies
If you face the prospect of a foreclosure action, or even if you are in the midst of one, you have several options for mortgage relief that can help you avoid the loss of your home. These include:
- Loan modification — This is an agreement to change the terms of the mortgage to make it easier to make your payments. A modification might change the payment schedule, reduce the interest rate or convert a variable rate to a fixed rate.
- Forbearance — The lender may agree to give you a break from making payments for a while. It might be necessary to increase the amount of payments when you resume, if you can’t work out a favorable loan modification.
- Repayment plan — This allows you to make up your overdue payments in installments over set period of time.
- Refinancing — You may be able to obtain a more manageable mortgage to replace the existing one, either through the same bank or another one.
- Reinstatement — You can stop a pending foreclosure by making one lump sum payment to bring your mortgage payments current.
- Deed in lieu of foreclosure — If necessary, you might be able to give the bank title to your house to satisfy your mortgage loan.
- Short sale — Still another option, if the bank agrees, is to sell your house for less than the amount you owe. The sale proceeds go to the bank and the remaining debt is forgiven.
Some mortgages contain an acceleration clause providing that if the borrower misses a certain number of payments, the loan becomes payable in full. This clause is usually invoked when the lender believes it can recoup much of its losses through a resale of the property. If your bank or mortgage holder gives you a demand for repayment under an acceleration clause, you need to take immediate action to prevent foreclosure.
Which option is most useful depends on your particular circumstances. If you have already overcome the financial obstacles that set you back but you can’t afford to make up the default all at once, a repayment plan might be suitable. If you know you are facing only a temporary rough patch and will be able to resume payments after a while, forbearance might be a good solution. If you are unsure when you will be in a position to resume payments, a modification or refinancing might be necessary.
Filing for bankruptcy is a last resort but an effective one. It automatically stops the bank from commencing or continuing any foreclosure action or otherwise attempting to collect on the mortgage debt. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to restructure payment of your mortgage arrears as part of a general three- to five-year debt repayment plan.
Contact a responsive foreclosure prevention attorney in northern New Jersey
The Law Offices of James C. Zimmermann can help you develop the best foreclosure prevention strategy available for your circumstances. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at 973-764-1633 or contact us online. We are located in Vernon, Wayne, Pompton Lakes, Hackensack and Nutley.