There is no doubt that we are in a mortgage foreclosure crisis in this country, which is certainly being felt in New Jersey. The courts, therefore, have set upa mediation system in an effort to try and keep people in their homes, andprovide several resources for the prevention of same, including theanswers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on mediation andforeclosure. Bear in mind that this program is for a foreclosure on a principal residence; not an investment property or vacation home.
If you have been served with a foreclosure complaint, or are even on the eve of a sheriff’s sale, you can still request a mediation. Certainly the sooner you do it the better, as the hearings usually take place about 45 days after the homeowner’s request. If you are up against a sheriff sale, you are entitled to two (2) two week adjournments in order to gain time. After that, you must appear in front of a judge in your county to request an emergency stay. These stays are automatically given if there is a pending mediation, so be sure to request it first and get confirmation of receipt from the state.
Once the mediation request is processed, then a hearing is scheduled to be held in your county courthouse. If the date scheduled presents a problem, then it can be rescheduled,according to the court’s set procedures. The mortgage company comes to the table and, with the help of the mediator, tries to work out a settlement. You should be aware, though, that this program is not a “silver bullet.” Roughly a third of all mediations do not result in a settlement. Another 25% result in the homeowner still leaving his or her home. Many more result in provisional deals that are subject to the federal HAMP program.
Forms are available froma state web site that will help you with the process, along witha self-help guide from New Jersey Legal Services. The point is, should you receive that foreclosure complaint, there are options available to you. Should you like to have my office assist you with the mediation request, please feel free to contact my office. Even if mediation does not help, there is always the possibility of a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 can enable you to reduce the burden of credit card bills, unpaid medical expenses and other debt so that you can take care of your back mortgage payment and keep your house, as long as you are able to continue to make payments.
Bankruptcy is Not a Magic Wand
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.