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New Jersey legislature may help stop foreclosure on some homes

Most New Jersey residents are keenly aware that the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy continues to wreak havoc on people's lives. In response, the New Jersey legislature is working to temporarily stop foreclosure on homes that were damaged in the storm. If the legislation is passed, affected homeowners would receive a three-year moratorium on foreclosure.

Even though the measure was unanimously supported by the New Jersey Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, there is a concern regarding whether it should apply to second homes. The primary consideration for most people is whether they can stay in the home that they live in with their families. However, the point was made that second homes also stimulate the economy in the area, which is greatly needed in some areas.

Many areas of the country are recovering nicely from the Great Recession, but others are still struggling to get out from under their economic losses. Giving homeowners more time and space to objectively evaluate their financial situations could help hasten that recovery. A law such as the one proposed by the state Senate could be invaluable for rebuilding the state's economy. No estimation on when the bill will be up for a vote before the entire Senate was given.

Until and unless the law is passed, homeowners may be able to stop foreclosure through the filing of a bankruptcy. While the automatic stay is in place, filers can make decisions regarding their financial future without fear of collection efforts and creditor harassment. Once those decisions are made and the bankruptcy is complete, a new financial life with a clean slate can begin.

Source: thedailyjournal.com, "NJ bill would suspend Sandy home foreclosures", Michael Symons, Dec. 9, 2014

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