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.
A New Jersey man facing foreclosure decided to fight his mortgage lender in an effort to keep his home. Recently, the judge decided that the lender was not entitled to proceed with the foreclosure because it waited too long to pursue an action to collect the mortgage debt. The statute of limitations to bring an action for foreclosure is six years.
Years after the official end of the recession, many New Jersey residents are still facing the threat of losing their homes. Some homeowners became desperate enough between 2006 and 2009 to believe a company's promises to stop foreclosure. Recently, the architects of what federal officials believe was a lease buyback scam were arrested, which may leave many homeowners wondering what happens next.
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.
The overall number of foreclosure filings may be dropping, and the housing market may be rebounding, but the mess left by the crash of the real estate market is still being cleaned up. Thousands of homes in which the homeowners were unable to stop foreclosure are sitting empty. These so-called "Zombie Foreclosures" have increased an astounding 58 percent in New Jersey in the last year.
On Dec. 31 of last year, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which made it possible for many homeowners to avoid paying taxes on debt forgiveness due to foreclosure or short sale, expired. Many are hopeful that Congress will renew the Act, which became law in 2007. Even though the law appears to have sufficient support, Congress has yet to make a determination regarding renewal of it. This has -- and may -- cause numerous homeowners in New Jersey and across the country to file for bankruptcy after a short sale of their homes.
Many New Jersey homeowners remember July 2009. The housing market had collapsed and hundreds of thousands of homeowners across the country were either behind on their mortgage debt or in foreclosure. It was during this time that one woman received a heart stopping letter from her mortgage company telling her that if she didn't pay them a certain amount by within two weeks, she could lose her home.
Multiple news reports have highlighted the fact that New Jersey is experiencing a surge in foreclosure filings. You may be one of thousands of homeowners in the state who is concerned about being able to keep your home. Help could be on the way, if a bill up for a vote in the State Assembly passes.
For some time now, New Jersey has held steady at being number two in the nation for home foreclosures. However, the state holding the number one spot is beginning to pick up the pace of finalizing foreclosure proceedings. This could mean that the amount of unpaid mortgage debt in New Jersey could cause the state to eventually lead the nation in foreclosures.
Several settlements have been brokered with mortgage servicers over the last few years over questionable mortgage practices. Now, the fourth largest mortgage service in the country, Ocwen Financial Corporation and Ocwen Loan Servicing, the subsidiary of Ocwen Financial, has agreed to a $2.1 billion settlement. An estimated 1,900 New Jersey residents could receive a portion of the settlement and possibly stop foreclosure if they are in danger of losing their homes.