It can be difficult to discern all the options New Jersey, the federal government and mortgage lenders offered to protect struggling homeowners unable to pay their mortgage, property tax or utility bills during the coronavirus pandemic.
The key piece of advice for those who missed or think they may miss a mortgage payment: Talk to an attorney or a federal Housing and Urban Development certified counselor, who offer free legal and mediation services, even if you’ve already sought advice in the past.
“We get a lot of people telling us they tried to get a loan modification or help from their banks two years ago but were turned down, but there are a lot of new options now that didn’t exist even a year ago,” said Maryann Flanigan, chief counsel of disaster relief and foreclosure at the Legal Services of New Jersey. “In the last year, a bunch of really favorable new options opened up, because it doesn’t benefit the banks to see huge swaths of neighborhoods foreclosed.”
New Jerseyans can contact Legal Services at www.lsnjlawhotline.org or call 888-576-5529. To find a free housing counselor in your area, visit the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency website.
Housing counselors can help you talk with your lender, work on loan modification applications, assist you in applying for financial assistance, or walk you through various options to avoid foreclosure, such as selling your home, using a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or negotiating a…