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Bankruptcy and foreclosure

When New Jersey homeowners are faced with significant financial challenges, one of the first things they may worry about is losing their home to foreclosure. Unemployment, unexpected health issues or other unforeseen circumstances can create financial challenges that make it difficult for people to make their mortgage payments. While it is possible to seek a loan modification, some people find themselves in such financial distress that their mortgage lender cannot or will not work with them.

If a homeowner is unable to work things out with their lender, there is a real possibility of foreclosure. The consequences of foreclosure can be devastating. Not only does the debtor lose his or her home, but the debtor's credit also takes a significant hit. If possible, it may be in the debtor's best interest to stop foreclosure via bankruptcy. Indeed, the threat of losing one's home still lingers in the United States, even though several years have passed since the foreclosure crisis. In fact, repossession of homes was up 66 percent in the third quarter of 2015 over last year's comparable period, with New Jersey being particularly hard hit.

One option for distressed homeowners is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as an attempt to reorganize debt. This may include additional mortgages as well as home equity loans, and allow a filer to catch up on past-due payments while being able to keep the home.

Homeowners who are worried that they may start falling behind on their mortgage payments may want to speak with an attorney who has experience in bankruptcy and other debt relief alternatives. There are strict eligibility requirements associated with Chapter 13 that the attorney can outline.

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