Changes to New Jersey Foreclosure Rules: What You Need to Know

Photo courtesy of Jeffery Turner

Before 2013, homeowners who were at risk of foreclosure had a lot of great resources available to them through the New Jersey State Foreclosure Mediation Program. Along with experienced foreclosure attorneys, foreclosure counselors were provided free of charge to guide at-risk homeowners through the confusing process of mediation. This program helped many distressed borrowers keep their homes through a loan modification instead of losing everything to foreclosure.

Due to an unfortunate and unexpected loss of funding, the N.J. State Foreclosure Mediation Program is undergoing major changes. Many homeowners who have relied on the mediation program to help them navigate their way through all of New Jersey’s foreclosure regulations will lose this valuable resource. Mediators and legal counsel will no longer be paid through the state program, which means that homeowners will have to retain private attorneys to assist them with saving their homes.

Additionally, along with these changes (which took effect in the early months of this year), as of April 1, 2013, new foreclosure time constraints have been put into place. Whereas previously, homeowners were able to wait until the eve of their Sheriff’s sale to request a stay for mediation, new rules now mandate that a mediation request must be made within two months of the date that the original foreclosure Complaint was filed.

As homeowners were previously able to wait until the night before their Sheriff’s sale to seek a stay, this change in foreclosure procedures has some borrowers in great danger of losing their homes. Under the new rules, residential homeowners who are facing foreclosure will only be able to participate in mediation if said mediation is requested within the allotted 60 days. Upon receipt of a Complaint of Foreclosure on a property, delinquent borrowers must request a stay ASAP. These changes mean that homeowners who wait too long to seek counsel will have to take extraordinary measures in order to have mediation granted. In many cases, even heroic efforts will be unsuccessful at obtaining a mediation stay if the request is made outside of the new legal timeframe.

With these rapidly changing rules and continual state funding losses, homeowners who are faced with a potential foreclosure should act quickly to retain counsel for the best chance of saving their home. While the mediation service provided to you by private counsel will no longer be funded by the State of New Jersey, the expertise and guidance Veitengruber Law can give you is priceless. We’re here for you when you need help staying in your home. For a free consultation, fill out this easy form now, and we will contact you to discuss your needs.

As the saying goes, there is an exception to every rule. A very small number of agencies may still offer some gratuitous assistance to struggling homeowners. One such program is called the “Homekeeper Program.” To find out if you qualify for the HomeKeeper Program, call our office today.

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