Even though it has been several years since the housing market crashed, new foreclosures are still being filed here in New Jersey. Homeowners who may still be dealing with unpaid mortgage debt and facing foreclosure are filing some papers of their own. Homeowners seem to be fighting back by filing complaints aimed at debt collectors and mortgage companies.
One of the complaints being asserted is that mortgage lenders, such as Bank of America and loan servicers such as Green Tree Servicing, forged documentation regarding ownership of homeowners’ mortgages. One homeowner who filed a complaint in federal court in New Jersey claims that Bank of America has yet to prove he owes them money or that the bank can legally collect the debt. That lawsuit was filed in May.
Another homeowner filed a lawsuit against Green Tree Servicing — which has filed the most foreclosures in New Jersey in the last couple of years — for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Yet another homeowner reportedly spent the last four years asking Select Portfolio Services — another debt collector — who actually owns his mortgage. Sources indicate that these cases are not unique.
Even so, there are still hundreds — if not thousands — of homeowners in the state whose mortgage debt is legitimately owned. In addition, they are in jeopardy of losing their homes in foreclosure. Filing for bankruptcy protection could give them the opportunity to determine whether they want to attempt to keep their homes or walk away from the home and the debt. Filers also have the opportunity to propose a repayment plan to the Bankruptcy Court in an effort to keep the roof over their head. In a situation where it may feel as if there are no choices, having the chance to make the choice could be invaluable.
Source: northjersey.com, “Foreclosures prompt lawsuits against debt collectors in N.J.“, Richard Newman, Aug. 31, 2014