2

Foreclosure and Loan Modification Blog

Who Are the "Unknown Parties" In Your Foreclosure Case?

Homeowners who fall seriously behind on their mortgage often notice something strange when they are served a foreclosure complaint: under defendants, alongside their name, there are other “unknown” defendants listed. Who the heck are these “Unknown Parties”, and why are they on your complaint? 

Before I answer that, let's look at an example of a foreclosure complaint from a recent client of our firm in Collier county, Florida (my bold):

“VERIFIED MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff, U.S. Bank National Association, sues Defendants (Names Redacted); Any and All Unknown Parties Claiming By, Through, Under, and Against the Herein Named Individual Defendant(s) Who Are Not Known to be Dead or Alive, Whether Said Unknown Parties May Claim an Interest as Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees, or Other Claimants; Unknown Party #1, Unknown Party #2, Unknown Party #3 and Unknown Party #4, the names being fictitious to account for parties in possession, and alleges...”

You can see from that excerpt that US Bank is suing homeowners in a foreclosure lawsuit. After the owners names, they also list as defendants “Any and All Unknown Parties (who)...May Claim an Interest” in the property. They use language that covers any possible way that a person could have an interest in the subject property, such as “Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees”.

4 Ways to Avoid Foreclosure at the Last Second

Falling behind on your mortgage is a terrible situation to be in, but even if a foreclosure sale date is fast approaching, it doesn't necessarily mean that all is lost. You may still be able to stop foreclosure, possibly even permanently.

Depending on your situation, a loan modification, adjournment, emergency motion, or bankruptcy could help you avoid losing your home to foreclosure. Here's how each works:

1. Loan Modification

Applying for a loan modification can stop a foreclosure sale when the application for it is submitted to the mortgage servicer at least 37 days before the sale date. When a bank pursues foreclosure while a loan mod application is under review, that's called dual-tracking, a practice that is prohibited by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's mortgage servicing rules.

Using Your Statutory Rights to Adjourn a Sheriff's Sale in New Jersey

Homeowners in New Jersey have a right to adjourn a sheriff's sale of their home for 14 days for any or no reason by paying a small fee.

And this can be done twice.

This foreclosure avoidance tool is called a statutory right to adjourn sheriff's sale. (Adjournment means a temporary postponement of a court action.)

It's not a permanent way out of foreclosure, and it doesn't cancel the sale, but it's a great tool for homeowners to use to temporarily stop the sale of their home when no other option is available.

You Could Be In Foreclosure And Not Even Know It

Many homeowners find that something strange happens when they stop paying their mortgage: nothing much. After missing payments they get letters from their bank telling them that they have to pay up or else lose their home. They don't pay because they can't, but still nothing happens for a long time.

Some homeowners go many years without making a payment, falling behind by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and yet their house isn't sold at a foreclosure auction, the sheriff doesn't tell them to vacate the premises, and they're not thrown to the curb. Sometimes the collections calls even stop!

However, just because nothing seems to happen doesn't mean that the gears of foreclosure aren't turning or that the bank forgot that your loan isn't performing for them. Rest assured that they haven't forgotten about you and the money you owe them.

New Jersey Number Two in Country for Foreclosures

In the first quarter of 2016 the U.S. saw less foreclosure activity than in any quarter since the fourth of 2006. But New Jersey continues to struggle with a foreclosure rate that's much worse than the national average.

Nationwide, one in every 459 homes in the country had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter of 2016. But in the garden state it's one in 216.

According to RealtyTrac's Foreclosure Market Report the only state with more is Maryland with one in every 194 housing units having a default notice, scheduled foreclosure auction, or bank repossession.

Southern Jersey and Atlantic County are struggling particularly hard.

New Jersey Foreclosure Trends for 2014

From the election to the continued Sandy recovery efforts, 2013 was important for the future of New Jersey. 2014 promises to be an even more vital year for New Jersey's future. While the hot-button topic of last 5 years has been all about how New Jersey has dealt with new foreclosures, the hot-button topic in 2014 will be about how New Jersey deals with the aftereffects of the mortgage crisis.

If New Jersey's people, government, and banks don't make the right choices, then it could spell a worse 2014 and beyond for everyone in the Garden State.

3 Things You Needed To Know About New Jersey Foreclosures in 2013

It's hard to believe, but 2013 is already coming to a close. This has been quite an eventful year for New Jersey homeowners- especially because the events of 2012 have started a ripple -- or better yet, a wave of effects that lasted into 2013. For example:

Free Offer: Download the New Jersey Foreclosure Timeline

  • What's the best thing to do immediately after getting a foreclosure notice?
  • How long does it take to foreclose on a home in New Jersey?
  • Are you completely ready to deal with the foreclosure process in New Jersey?

If you can't confidently answer all these questions, then you should take a few seconds to download the New Jersy foreclosure timeline, especially if you think you may be at risk for foreclosure or are already within the foreclosure process.

Information Is Power, Learn About The New Jersey Foreclosure Process

If keeping your home is your goal when dealing with the New Jersey foreclosure process, you've got to be proactive. There is a sharp contrast in the length of the foreclosure timeline between those those that jump right into the fight and those that are a bit slow out of the gate. Dealing with foreclosure can be overwhelming, considering that it is often yet another crisis in a series of unfortunate events.

After all, most people facing foreclosure have been through some sort of financial, medical, or personal turmoil, and it is difficult to act when you're unsure of exactly what to do. However, in New Jersey, failing to act fast is risky; it can cost you your home.

Understanding the New Jersey Foreclosure Process

Finding a New Jersey Foreclosure Attorney means first understanding the foreclosure process for the state of New Jersey. A foreclosure defense attorney must be licensed to practice in the same state as your property. As foreclosure laws differ from state to state, be sure you understand the process and hire an attorney who is well versed in handling cases in New Jersey.

Like in most states, it takes about 3 months of missed payments for the bank to begin the default process. In the state of New Jersey, the lender must file a notice of intent to foreclose 33 days prior to serving the homeowner with actual foreclosure papers.

About this Blog

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services is a leading loan modification and foreclosure defense law firm with attorneys licensed in 5 states. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners fight back and keep their homes.

Click to Read Our Super Loan Mod Success Stories

Our goal is to provide valuable information to help homeowners who are trying to obtain a loan modification or to stop foreclosure. You may schedule a free consultation at any time.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Lists by Topic

see all
Quick Foreclosure Quiz

Foreclosure Process Handbook