In many states, families whose home loans are being foreclosed are given an average of 30 days to vacate the home. However, as the people who live here already know, New Jersey is not like other states. In our state, when a homeowner is unable to stop foreclosure, they may get to stay in their home during the foreclosure process, which could take up to 1,000 days.
In recent times, the same big banks that have been in the news recently for being under government scrutiny are demonizing the homeowners that stay in their homes without making mortgage payments. In reality, numerous New Jersey homeowners have tried on more than one occasion to work out some sort of deal with their lender in order to keep their homes. In many cases, these homeowners have said that their lender would not work with them.
In some parts of New Jersey, an estimated 80 percent of people have lived for years while their homes are in foreclosure. Part of this is due to mortgage lenders not following state law during foreclosure proceedings. This can cause the process to have to be stopped and started several times. Mortgage companies are also hesitant to evict homeowners during these long processes since the owners continue to take care of the home, which can make it easier for the lender to sell once the foreclosure is completed.
For many homeowners, the ability to live in their home “rent free” when they are not able to stop foreclosure is bittersweet. On the one hand, they will lose their homes at some point. However, the time spent not having to pay for housing may give the homeowner time to reevaluate finances and determine the best course of action once the foreclosure is completed. In doing so, a number of debt relief strategies may be considered, including bankruptcy protection when the circumstances warrant.
Source: opposingviews.com, New Jersey Homeowners Stay in Houses for Years After Foreclosure (Video), Michael Allen, Oct. 25, 2013