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What is a “Zombie Foreclosure?”

Even though the nationwide numbers of zombie foreclosures have dropped 43 percent this past year, the number of such foreclosures in New Jersey have increased more than 28 percent at the same time. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy can be attributed to the loss of many of these homes and their eventual foreclosure. If you are in New Jersey and have been struggling with mortgage payments, you may be wondering what zombie foreclosures are and how you can avoid them.

Essentially, a “zombie foreclosure” is when a homeowner feels like they cannot afford their home anymore, so they leave before the foreclosure process has started. When this happens, foreclosures are sometimes cancelled, the home is never sold or the title is not transferred to a new owner. Properties that are abandoned might also be avoided by the lender too, as they do not want the responsibility for the cost of upkeep or property taxes.

When houses sit there, empty, yards can become overgrown and squatters may make themselves at home. If you struggle to make your mortgage payments and feel like your only solution is to “abandon ship” before the foreclosure process begins, you should know that you have other options. While declaring bankruptcy sounds like a bad thing, it can actually help you save your home while also pulling you out of debt.

Bankruptcy is an option, yes, but you can also work with an attorney and the bank to rework your home loan to something that is more affordable for you. Usually, it can take the bank up to a year to complete a foreclosure process, which buys you some time to save your home. With the help of a professional attorney, you would be able to review all of your options when it comes to trying to escape the fate of a foreclosure. 

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