If You Are in Foreclosure in New Jersey During Covid Read This
Feb. 15, 2021
When a foreclosure complaint is filed in New Jersey, the complaint is a public record. Many lawyers can get access to those public records, which means that the lawyers can find out which mortgage companies are foreclosing against which homeowners. Lawyers then use this information to send "attorney advertising" letters to people that are in foreclosure, and by doing this the lawyers are hopeful that they will get some of these people to sign up as clients.
The same technique is used by non lawyer companies that are trying to solicit business, and many of these companies could very well be con artists and scam artists, trying to take advantage of people that are in trouble.
I like to do my best to help people who are in foreclosure save their home. So every once in a while, I write a letter to people on the foreclosure list, and I usually get what is considered to be a fairly good response rate. The letters are designed more to educate and enlighten than to just look for business, and below is a sample of the type of letter I might be sending out to someone who is just learning that they are in foreclosure:
ATTORNEY ADVERTISING STOP YOUR FORECLOSURE
WHEN WILL YOUR HOUSE BE SOLD AT SHERIFF'S SALE?
WE DON'T WANT YOU TO LOSE YOUR HOME.
If a lawyer has already been retained this letter is to be disregarded.
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You are probably aware that your mortgage company has started a foreclosure lawsuit against you. We have obtained this information from public records and are writing to you to make you aware that thankfully, during this Pandemic, Governor Murphy has so far been very merciful with homeowners. Pending sheriff sales have already been postponed for several months, and it looks like your mortgage company has just recently started the foreclosure lawsuit against you, so please don't panic. Many homeowners don't fully understand their legal rights,and they think that once they get a foreclosure lawsuit, that's the end.
But the truth is that it's not the end, it's really the beginning of what could be a long legal procedure, and if you know the law, you can probably legally delay that foreclosure for quite some time. We have clients who haven't paid their mortgage for 2 or 3 years, or even more, and they are still happily living in their home.
You may have already received a lot of letters from all sorts of people, and you have no idea who they are – can they really help you, or are they just trying to get your money? Are they real, or are they just scams?
THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY CON ARTISTS OUT THERE, SO PLEASE
DON'T LET ANY OF THE MANY CON ARTISTS CON YOU.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET SOME TOTALLY FREE LEGAL ADVICE FROM
A LOCAL NEW JERSEY LAWYER WITH 47 YEARS EXPERIENCE?
Would you like to get a free copy of my new eBook
“DON'T FEAR FORECLOSURE, FIGHT FORECLOSURE”?
I've been helping my clients since 1973, and just the other day I thought to myself, “Man, there are so many people out there who need help. Times are so tough for so many people right now. And there are so many people that are facing the prospect of soon losing their home, the home that they have struggled so hard for, spending so many years to fulfill their dream of owning a home. They've worked so hard for so long, and now they could lose their home forever. I wonder if these people have lost their hope, their joy, and their passion.
I wonder if they realize that there is still a way that they can stop the foreclosure sale that they may soon be facing. I wonder if they know they still have hope.” That's why I decided to write this letter to you.
I sure hope you know that there is still hope. I sure hope you realize that this foreclosure you are facing can probably be stopped, and that there are probably several legal ways you can still keep your home.
So, is it possible to stop this foreclosure that you are facing? I sure hope so, and I strongly suggest that you find out, by picking up the phone and calling me right now, no matter what day or time it is.
I'll be happy to give you a totally free consultation and answer all of your questions. In fact, I am going to give you a lot of information right now, because if you keep reading you will see that I have enclosed a lot of important information that I give to my clients. Information that will help you understand many of the options that are available to a person who is facing foreclosure and a potential upcoming sheriff's sale.
So if you're really ready to learn how maybe, just maybe, you can still save your home, keep reading, and whenever you are ready, call me, attorney Seymour Wasserstrum.
I will speak to you for free, no time limit, no obligation, and I will give you totally truthful answers to all of your questions. And based on my 47 years' experience as a New Jersey lawyer, I know that most people facing a foreclosure and potential sheriff's sale still have several real opportunities to save their home – they just have to realize that there is still hope. They have to realize that they really don't have to fear that foreclosure, and that there is still time to fight that foreclosure. Don't Give Up!
I recently had a man come to my office, about 1 hour before his sheriff's sale, and we stopped that sheriff's sale. I don't recommend that you wait that long to talk to me. Why wait, when by making a simple call to me, attorney Seymour Wasserstrum, you can find out within minutes if we can help you stop that foreclosure and potential sheriff's sale for good?
Do you want to do business with people and companies that you have no idea who they are, or if they are even real, or would you rather personally meet with, talk with and get honest and truthful information and advice from a local lawyer whom you can easily check out?
There's no substitute for experience, and there's no substitute for honesty and trust.
Get ready to learn a lot. There is a lot of valuable information on the attached pages, and you just might be amazed at all of the options that are still available to you. I wish you the very best, and I look forward to speaking with you when you call me. When would there be a better time to call than right now?
Don't forget to ask me for a free copy of “Don't Fear Foreclosure, Fight Foreclosure” And just in case you haven't figured it out yet, helping people save their homes is my privilege, my passion and my pleasure.
BEWARE OF ALL KINDS OF CRAZY FORECLOSURE SCAMS
BE SMART. PLEASE DON'T LET THOSE SCAM ARTISTS SCAM YOU
Leave it to the scam artists and con artists to take advantage of any crisis and try to make money from people like you. You probably already have been getting many letters from people who may be making all sorts of promises to you. They may be telling you things like how they can save your house from a sheriff's sale and greatly reduce your mortgage payments, your mortgage balance, and your interest rate. They may even tell you that you can get a free house. There are plenty of con artists and scammers out there who are willing to tell you almost anything to get your money. They know that desperate people do desperate things, and they may be thinking that you are one of those desperate people, and that they can take advantage of you.
If you really want to save your property from a sheriff's sale, isn't it smarter to deal with someone you know, like, and trust? So many people have come to me after they've been conned out of money because they've been contacted by people that lie, cheat, and steal, and will do virtually anything to get money from them. Well, if you haven't already figured it out, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.
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PLEASE WATCH OUT FOR THE CON ARTISTS
Are you ready to hear the truth? When you're in foreclosure, it's not the end of the world. There are many ways that you can save your property from foreclosure, but you have to know all of the rules. They say that knowledge is power. Well, maybe that's what some people think, but I don't think knowledge is really power unless you use that knowledge for your benefit.
So, if you'd like to acquire and use knowledge that will help you stop your foreclosure, do you think that maybe it's a good idea to go to the right place, and deal with the right people? Here are some examples of how people save their property from foreclosure and sheriff's sale.
You Can Get a Loan Modification from Your Mortgage Company
What does this mean? Let me give you an example. Let's say your mortgage payment is $2,000 a month, you missed 10 mortgage payments, and you owe $20,000 in arrears. If the mortgage company is willing to give you a modification, they could do something like this: they take the $20,000 you are behind, and they say, “Don't worry about that $20,000 for now. You can pay us back that $20,000 many years into the future. For now, we will consider you up to date, and we will make your mortgage payment much more manageable.” If your mortgage payment was $2,000 a month, they might reduce it to $1,500 a month. If your interest rate was 6%, they might reduce it to 4%. If you had 20 years left on your mortgage, they might increase the time to 30 years.
Sometimes this is a good deal, and sometimes it's a bad deal. There are a lot of mathematical calculations that have to be considered to determine whether this type of solution will work best for you. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn't true. And if you think the mortgage companies are in business to be your friend and to help you, you might want to think again.
Can You Do a Short Sale?
Mortgage companies will often agree to a short sale, which means that they will let you sell your property for less than you owe to the mortgage company. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes it isn't. I don't normally recommend it to my clients. There are usually better options.
What if You Could Do Business with A New Mortgage Company that Is Willing to Make a Deal with Your Present Mortgage Company that Is Beneficial for Everyone?
Here's an example. Let's say your house is worth $150,000, but you owe $200,000 to the mortgage company. The mortgage payments are $2,000 a month, and you're $40,000 behind. If you can't come up with a solution, your house is going to be sold at a sheriff's sale.
What if we could introduce you to a new mortgage company that is going to deal with your present mortgage company, and they have a conversation something like this: the new mortgage company says to your present mortgage company, “Listen, you're never going to get $200,000 for this house. These people can't pay their mortgage, and if you foreclose, you know you're going to lose $50,000 or more on this property. You'll have to pay a whole lot of money to your lawyers, plus you'll have costs for the sheriff sale. Then when you finally get the property back, you'll have to pay people to fix it up and put it in good shape. You'll also have to pay real estate people to market the property, and you'll have to pay them commissions. Let's face it, you're going to lose a lot of money on this property. How about if we pay you $135,000 right now and we'll take this property off your hands?”
If the two mortgage companies make an agreement, the new mortgage company will transfer ownership of the property back to you and give you a mortgage for maybe $150,000. So what does this mean to you? Well, you stay in your home, and instead of owing $200,000, you now only owe $150,000. Instead of paying $2,000 a month on your mortgage, you now get a new deal where your mortgage payment goes down to maybe about $1,700 a month.
This is a hypothetical example, but the mortgage company we deal with has a good track record, and they have indicated that on average they can save a homeowner about 35% on their mortgage.
You Can Save Your Home and Other Property by Filing Chapter 13
Chapter 13 is a great way to save your home, and it will always work if you can do what you are required to do. You should be aware of the following rules that usually apply to Chapter 13:
When you file Chapter 13, it will generally stop the foreclosure process dead in its tracks. If your property has been listed for sheriff sale, the sheriff sale usually gets stopped. If a foreclosure complaint has been filed against you, the mortgage company attorney can take no further action on that case while you are protected by the Chapter 13 process. If the mortgage company has been calling you and writing to you about your mortgage arrears and harassing you about payment, all phone calls and written communications must stop.
In order to save your home, you propose a reasonable plan to cure your mortgage arrears. The Court can give you 5 years to catch up.
All of your other creditors will also be stopped cold. In other words, none of your other creditors can call you, harass you, send you emails, write you letters, etc. The ultimate goal would be to wipe out all of the bills and have all of those debts forgiven by the bankruptcy court while you keep all of the property you own.
In a totally successful chapter 13 case, our clients keep whatever they own, including their home, their cars, the money in their bank accounts, their retirement plans, etc., and they legally wipe out all of their unsecured debts such as credit card bills, medical bills, personal loans, payday loans, surcharges on their driver's license, old income taxes, internet bills, utility bills, and lawyer bills. Those type of debts are totally forgiven by the Court.
Here's an example of how Chapter 13 works when you're behind on your mortgage. Let's assume that your mortgage payments are $1,000 a month. You are 20 months behind, and you file Chapter 13. In the future, you will be required to pay your regular monthly mortgage payments on time. As to the $20,000 you're behind, the court will give you 5 years to pay that back in a monthly installment plan for 60 months. Therefore, if you can make your regular monthly payments in the future and pay an additional payment every month for the next 60 months to cover the $20,000 of arrears, plus any additional payments that have to be made through the plan, you will save your house.
What if you can't make all of your mortgage payments and make a Chapter 13 payback plan work for you? Even if you don't have the money to pay back the arrears over 5 years, you can still take advantage of the Chapter 13 process. First, by filing Chapter 13, you can stop the foreclosure from going forward, and you can also stop a sheriff sale. Second, you can try for a loan modification as a part of the Chapter 13 process. Even if you tried for a loan modification before and were denied, you still could, in most situations, apply for a modification as a part of the Chapter 13 process under the supervision of the court.
Mortgage Loan Forbearance
During the Covid crisis, many mortgage companies have been offering homeowners a forbearance on their mortgage payments. At the beginning the mortgage companies were offering a forbearance for 3 months. Then after the 3 months passed, they offered another 3 months forbearance. Recently, many mortgage companies have been offering a forbearance for up to 12 months.
If you have not yet received a forbearance or any other type of mortgage payment relief, and you would like to see what your mortgage company has to offer, simply give them a call, and ask them if they have any program available that would help you save your home from foreclosure.
What if You Can't Pay Your Real Estate Taxes? What Every Homeowner Needs to Know.
Do you realize that you could own your home free and clear, without any mortgage, but your home could still be taken away from you if you don't pay your real estate taxes? We recently had a senior citizen come in with a challenge. He owned 3 homes, free and clear, without any mortgages at all. But due to unfortunate financial problems, he had been unable to pay any of the real estate taxes for the last 3 years. He owed about $40,000 in taxes, and his homes were worth about $300,000. Fortunately, he came to see me, because he could have otherwise lost his properties. All because he owed the township some real estate taxes. Does that seem like a fair law?
Well, the good news is that if you file for chapter 13 before you lose ownership of the property, the Court will give you 5 years to pay back your taxes, by paying monthly payments plus interest, and you should no longer be in jeopardy of losing your home for not paying your real estate taxes.
I hope that I have given you some choices and alternatives that you may not have been aware of. If you need to file for bankruptcy or seek other relief, I don't want you to feel ashamed or guilty. There is no shame in using the laws in this country to help yourself have a better life in the future. You deserve it! If you owe a lot of money to mortgage companies and various other companies, I usually tell my clients not to feel badly for the creditors. They have probably made lots of money from you already, and they could probably care less about you personally. If someone files for bankruptcy or seeks other relief, that is not a surprise to the creditors. They know that many people are going to take advantage of the laws for their own benefit. Bankruptcy is in the United States Constitution, and if someone needs to file for bankruptcy, they are exercising their constitutional right. I hope I have given you some choices and alternatives.
I've been a lawyer since 1973, and I've learned a lot about the legal system in the last 47 years. My goal is to help as many people as possible with the knowledge I have accumulated over the years.
I have been very blessed in my life, and I believe that it is my responsibility to serve and to share all of the gifts and talents that God has given me so that I can be a blessing to others.
If you would like to learn more about your legal rights when you face the potential of losing your home or other property, I can supply you with a lot more information and documentation. I have a lot of material that I can send you or email you for free.
If you would like to learn more and would like to speak with me, call me at 856-696-8300. We are open from 9 am to 6 pm. I'm not one of those attorneys who avoids taking phone calls. I take my calls promptly, and I take as much time as my clients need.
If you want to communicate with me by email, my personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I also offer a totally free office consultation with no obligation whatsoever. If you'd like to talk, please email me or call me.