Foreclosure FAQs

There are several ways to get your house out of foreclosure, and you can do it at nearly any point in the foreclosure process. NJ Foreclosure Rescue exists to help you determine which stage of the foreclosure process you are in and what your best options are to save your home. Check out our pages How to Avoid Foreclosure in NJ and Your Foreclosure Options in NJ for more information on the foreclosure process and the many options that are out there.
If your house goes into foreclosure, your mortgage lender can legally repossess your house and sell it on the market or in an auction. Eventually, this will lead to eviction and you will need to leave your home. However, there are several steps that have to occur before foreclosure can happen, so if you have been notified that the foreclosure process has been initiated or even that your home has sold, there is still hope.
You can absolutely stop foreclosure after the process has been initiated. Some ways you can do this are:

  • Paying what you owe on your mortgage, including any missed payments
  • Contacting your lender and asking if they have any deferment or forbearance plans you may qualify for
  • Get a new loan via a renovation loan, FHA loan, or home equity line
  • Get on a mortgage forgiveness plan

Learn more about these and other options on our Your Foreclosure Options in NJ page.

You may still owe money after your house has been foreclosed upon. This is referred to as a “deficiency,” and your lender can sue to recover this amount. This is why it’s important to stop foreclosure before it gets finalized and get on a payment plan if you can’t pay what you owe.
“Pre-foreclosure” refers to the process that takes place before the final judgment of foreclosure occurs. There are three typical steps that are included in pre-foreclosure: a 15-day grace period in which your delinquency is not reported to credit bureaus, default, and a 30-day payment notice. If you pay during any of these stages, your house will not go into foreclosure, so it’s important to take care of what you owe within the first 30-60 days after you miss a mortgage payment.
 

Research shows that a foreclosure is the single most damaging event to your credit and that it takes an average of seven years for a borrower’s score to recover from a foreclosure. The impact depends on how much money you still owe on your mortgage at the time of foreclosure. However, some of the impact can be recovered if you:

  • Take care of your late payments during the pre-foreclosure stage
  • Get on a deferred payment plan or forbearance plan during the pre-foreclosure stage
  • Get certain negative events removed after successfully completing the foreclosure process

Foreclosure is a multi-step process that usually takes six months or more to complete. Because foreclosure is not a single event but rather an ongoing process, the effect on your credit rating is far-reaching. Make sure you take action at the start of the process so the effect on your credit is minimized.

 
Yes, foreclosure can still happen during COVID-19, but this depends on a few factors. If you have an FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac mortgage, there are certain federal protections in place, and New Jersey also has its own set of stipulations on foreclosure due to COVID-19. Your lender may also offer their own COVID-19 related forbearance/deferment plans. Please see our page COVID-19 Related Foreclosure in NJ for more information.
As a homeowner in New Jersey, you have the following rights in a foreclosure, including but not limited to:

  • Loss mitigation rights
  • Right to a breach letter
  • Notice of foreclosure
  • Right to reinstate
  • Right of redemption
  • Right to mediation
  • Right to challenge foreclosure
  • Right to a surplus
  • FDCPA Validation Letter

To learn more about your rights in a foreclosure, please visit our page Legal Rights in a Foreclosure in NJ. If you feel you have been a victim of unfair foreclosure practices, contact us.

When your house is foreclosed upon, you will still have a right to any equity you have built up in your home. However, fees and foreclosure costs can eat up a lot of that value, and you’ll probably have to sell the house at a very low price. If there is equity left over after the foreclosure process is completed, or if your home sells for more than what you owe on it, you have a right to that surplus. Learn more about your legal rights in a foreclosure in NJ.
The minimum waiting period after foreclosure before you can apply for a new mortgage loan varies depending on how your loan is serviced:

  • 3 years for FHA loans
  • 7 years for Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loans
  • 2 years for Veterans Affairs loans
  • 2 years for conventional loans

After that waiting period, you can apply for a new mortgage loan, though it’s important to remember that your credit rating is unlikely to be as strong as it was before the foreclosure. You’ll likely have a blemish on your credit report and have had to rebuild your credit after the foreclosure, which takes time and patience. It may also be difficult to get approved for a mortgage loan if you’re unemployed.

COVID-19 Foreclosure FAQs

According to an executive order by New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy, no one may be removed from their home for inability to pay rent during the COVID-19 emergency. This protection, called an “eviction moratorium,” was originally set to last until two months after Governor Murphy declared an end to the COVID-19 health crisis.
On June 4, 2021, Governor Murphy officially lifted the state of emergency declaration for New Jersey. This means that the eviction moratorium will be ending soon, so if your home is in the process of foreclosure or has been sold, you should begin seeking assistance immediately.
As of right now, the COVID-19 eviction moratorium is set to end on January 1, 2022. However, on July 24, 2021, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a bill that would end the COVID-19 eviction moratorium for homeowners on November 15, 2021, and the bill is expected to be signed into law any day now. The sooner you reach out to avoid foreclosure and eviction, the safer your investment in your home will be.
The COVID-19 eviction moratorium protects homeowners from being evicted even if the foreclosure process has been carried out to completion. If someone is trying to evict you from your home illegally, call the police and/or seek legal help immediately.

Take Steps to Avoid Foreclosure in the Pre-Foreclosure Stage

Taking action in the pre-foreclosure stage is the key to preventing foreclosure from proceeding in New Jersey. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to stop the foreclosure process. Learn more about pre-foreclosure in NJ and what steps you can take during a 15-day grace period, default, or even a 30-day notice to stop foreclosure proceedings and save your home.

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Loan Options and Other Ways of Avoiding Foreclosure in New Jersey

When facing foreclosure in New Jersey, there are many different avenues that can help you rescue your home. Learn more about short sales, renovation loans, mortgage forgiveness, home equity lines, and other loan options you may have to stop foreclosure.

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