December 22, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- The past couple of years have not been easy financially for many New Jersey homeowners struggling to stay current on their mortgages and avoid foreclosure. And Hurricane Sandy made things infinitely worse for some.
If you are facing unemployment or underemployment, or a personal crisis related to the storm, and mortgage payments are getting too heavy, contact your mortgage lender or mortgage servicing company to discuss possible assistance available either under the existing terms of your loan or through the bank. The lender may be willing to work directly with you to negotiate a loan modification
that would make your payments affordable.
Mortgage modifications that could assist with avoiding foreclosure include:
- Lengthening the term of the loan by making it payable over a longer time period
- Converting the interest rate from variable to fixed so that it cannot balloon out of control
- Bringing down the total principal balance of the mortgage
- Lowering the monthly payments
- Reducing the interest rate to make payments easier and the total amount collected under the loan agreement less
In addition, New Jersey state government and federal programs exist to help homeowners facing the possibility of home foreclosures to secure modification of loan terms to make the payments affordable. For example, the federal Making Home Affordable program may be a resource that provides approved housing counselors to assist with refinancing and loan modification applications.
On the state level, New Jersey's Home Ownership Preservation Effort, or NJ HOPE alliance, is a lender-state-nonprofit coalition that assists troubled homeowners in finding appropriate resources and "borrower assistance programs" offered by some banks.
Finally, New Jersey homeowners already in bankruptcy in may be eligible for the New Jersey Judiciary's Foreclosure Mediation Program in which counseling and mediation between homeowners and their lenders may be available to facilitate loan modifications that could preserve home ownership.
Beware of scams
Consumers need to be careful not to conduct business with shady companies promising to get mortgage loan modifications for struggling homeowners in exchange for exorbitant fees. Scams may involve false presentations of affiliation with government, nonprofit or commercial bank entities. Before discussing anything with a third-party company that offers such relief, be sure to affirm that it is a legitimate and respected business entity.
The state of New Jersey provides public information
about such scams and about the availability of free, approved housing counseling.
Talk to an experienced New Jersey consumer rights attorney about the best way to pursue a mortgage loan modification and to avoid losing your home in foreclosure. A lawyer can assist at every step, including reviewing all legal documents and negotiating with your lender and loan servicer.
Article provided by Law Offices of Phillip F. Drinkwater III
Visit us at www.pfdlaw.com