How Homeowners Can Protect Themselves
When homeowners are contacted about foreclosure options by a third party, homeowners should:
- Contact their lender. They may be able to work a re-payment plan (forbearance agreement) that is within a homeowners budget;
- Seek legal advice through a trusted attorney, not one appointed by the company or individual soliciting them.
- Never sign away ownership of the home by a quitclaim deed or otherwise without consulting a trusted attorney;
- Be especially suspicious of offers to lease back the home, in order to buy it back over time. These offers may sound good but often make it impossible to re-purchase the home;
- Never make mortgage payments to anyone other than the lender;
- Never listen to anyone other than the lender regarding the mortgage payments or due dates;
- Beware of any home-sales contract in which the homeowner is not formally released from liability for their mortgage;
- Do not sign any document with bank lines or spaces; information could be added later without your knowledge and consent.
- Call the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General , Division of Consumer Affairs, and Office of Consumer Protection at 1-800 242-5846 (calls within New Jersey) email: AskConsumerAffairs@lps.state.nj.us.
- Call the Department of Banking and Insurance toll-free hot line (1-800-446-7467) for guidance, direction and schedules or locations of foreclosure seminars.
- For brochures on Foreclosure Scams visit http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/News/Consumer%20Briefs/foreclosure-scams%E2%80%93how-to-avoid-them.pdf and http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/News/Consumer%20Briefs/surplus-funds-scam.pdf
Is Foreclosure Mediation Right for You?
Foreclosure mediation provides homeowners who are dealing with the threat of foreclosure to receive help from housing counselors, attorneys, and a neutral mediator to resolve their loan delinquency matters. The program is free for qualified homeowners.
Visit http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/superior/foreclosure.htm for more information or call toll free at 1-888-9989-5277.