There are two common outcomes of a foreclosure lawsuit: the homeowner wins and is able to remain in the home OR the bank keeps the property. If the bank successfully forecloses on your home, you will need to leave the property. As the homeowner, you still have rights in the eviction process; for example, you must be notified of the eviction beforehand. But at the end of the day, you will responsible for the expenses of moving. If you are struggling to cover these expenses, you have options. We've compiled some tips to help homeowners transition out of a foreclosed home.
Know Your Timeline
First, it is important to understand the timeframe you are likely to be dealing with. After final judgment occurs, the lender/bank will receive a “Writ of Execution.” This Writ has to be presented to the Sheriff’s office within a year and will authorize the Sheriff to sell the property. From the date the Sheriff receives the Writ, the auction must be scheduled within 120 days. A notice of the sale will be published publicly and posted physically on the property. Once the property sells, the new owners will be granted a “Writ of Possession,” which is effective for 90 days. The eviction will be scheduled within that time period.
1. Present Your Case in Court
There are many ways a homeowner can prolong the foreclosure process according to NJ law. You are entitled to contest the lawsuit, redeem your ownership rights by paying off the total debt, and even postpone the Sheriff's Sale by moving the date up to two times. Even after the eviction period has begun, you still have options. The eviction process can take as little as two weeks and as long as 90 days to enforce. There is a lot of wiggle room there. There will be time during the foreclosure proceedings to present your case explaining why you should be granted more time post-foreclosure to prepare to vacate the property.
2. Talk to the New Owners
If the home has a new owner, it is possible that they might not want to wait a few months for you to move out of the house. A new homeowner who has big renovation plans or an investor looking to turn the property into a rental might be willing to offer “cash for keys” in order to expedite your move. Keep in mind that the new owner is not obligated to offer this, nor are you obligated to take any cash for keys offers. But it is an option if you are struggling to get the funds to cover a new place to live.
3. Don’t Feel Pressured to Leave Sooner than Required
A cash for keys offer might seem too good to pass up, but do not discount the benefits of staying in the home for as long as possible. By staying in the home, you will be able to save more money towards your move which means you'll enter your new living situation on better financial footing. You can also take the time you will need to tie up loose ends and pack up all of your belongings. That being said, it is important not to put off moving until the last minute. It is legal for the police to physically remove you from the home.
If your home is heading for foreclosure and you don’t know what to do, Veitengruber Law can provide the expert legal advice you need. We will guide you through your options until you have a solution that works for you.