Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We Help Good People Through Bad Times!

Foreclosure Rates in New Jersey Hit an All-Time High

The numbers are staggering; the foreclosure rates in New Jersey have reached astronomical proportions. Now, more than ever homeowners must find a way to protect their home and assets. Mortgage companies and other vendors were all too eager to give out large loans with fluctuating interest rates during the real estate boom that occurred in the last several years. Now, many middle class communities are paying the ultimate price. Recent statistics compiled by CNN Money indicate that as many as 1 in every 9 homes is in danger of being foreclosed on. Some communities have whole blocks where a majority of the homes have ominous “for sale” signs in the front yard. Luckily for residents of New Jersey, the foreclosure process in this particular state is much more thorough than in many other states. Many states the process could be over in less than two months. New Jersey has very specific legislation that makes the foreclosure process somewhat more complicated and on average most homes are not completely foreclosed on for about nine months.
Due to the fact that in New Jersey this process is more drawn out, there are many companies out there who claim that they can find away to compromise with mortgage companies and lenders. Most of these companies simply charge the homeowner a few thousand dollars to file a forbearance agreement. A forbearance agreement can be filed for a variety of reasons. It is important for homeowners to know who is eligible to file a forbearance agreement. People serving in the armed forces, people who are attending school and people who are simply having financial difficulties that can be documented can file a forbearance agreement. The forbearance agreement is usually rejected and the company has no further course of action because they need to have lawyer’s working for them in order to appeal the decision. Most of these companies don’t expect the forbearance agreement to be accepted and they cannot file an appeal because they are simply not attorneys. The odd part about all this is that most Mortgage companies and lenders would rather keep these homeowners and have them pay a monthly payment with interest rather than sell the house at an auction for significantly less money.
The problem with these quick fix mortgage negotiators is that since they are not attorneys they have no idea how to deal with the attorneys of the mortgage companies. It is very important that the forbearance agreement is put together by state certified bankruptcy attorney who has the know-how and expertise that is necessary when dealing with high profile lawyers that represent many of these mortgage companies. A state certified attorney also has the ability to file an appeal if the forbearance agreement is initially rejected. This will at the very least bide some more time for the homeowners to get their finances in order. If the appeal fails as well, many home owners have one last option, which is filing for bankruptcy and although this is not an easy process, most would agree it is better than losing you home.
The American dream is something people work hard to achieve and some bad luck and bad decision-making could cost some people their most prized possession. Their home, where they watched their family come together and their lives change in so many ways. This is a very difficult subject for most people, but it is very important to know what your options are just in case a tragedy like this occurs. It is also important to know that there are people out there who would genuinely like to help. Local bankruptcy attorney, James Cerbone is offering free consultations for people in danger of being foreclosed on. He is even willing to file a forbearance agreement free of charge if the situation warrants it. He has a vested interest in the community because he grew up here and is currently raising his own kids here. He would much rather see Ocean and Monmouth county prosper and thrive. He also feels that for the most part people who are in danger of losing their homes are not totally at fault. There are several other factors, including the stock market, credit cards, the value of the dollar and the job market. Most people who are fiscally responsible but hit a streak of bad luck are given a second chance and are able to recover in the long run. The key is to not be taken advantage by people who claim they can help you but end up hurting you even more. Do not go for the quick fix, make sure you do the research and always make sure to consult an attorney who specializes in this field.
James J. Cerbone is one of only a handful of board certified bankruptcy attorneys in the state of New Jersey. He specializes in Personal Bankruptcy, Business Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and Tax Law. Mr. Cerbone holds a LL.M. (Advanced Law Degree) in Trial Advocacy. He is licensed to practice in both New Jersey and New York. He has a highly respected practice that has helped thousands of families in the central and southern New Jersey areas for over 15 years. His offices are located at 2130 Rt. 35 Building B, Suite 227 in Sea Girt, NJ 08750. A free consultation can be scheduled by dialing (732) 681-6800. You can learn more about the foreclosure and bankruptcy process by visiting www.NJBills.com

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