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Eviction reprieve possible for Franklin homeowner after protest against state agency decisionPrint Email >Warren Cooper/NJN Publishing By Warren Cooper/NJN Publishing The Somerset Reporter
on June 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM, updated June 18, 2012 at 1:43 PM
FRANKLIN TWP. — The North Lawrence Street family facing eviction on June 21 could get a reprieve.
Dozens of neighbors, supporters and anti-foreclosure advocates organized by two community advocacy groups met at 214 N. Lawrence St. on June 9 to march and protest the pending eviction of Eliseo Solis and his family.
That event may have drawn attention to the problems facing the Solis family and nearly 700 others that received foreclosure notices in the Somerset section of the township between 2009 and 2011. According to Eric Romsted of Unemployed Crisis Action Network, a New Brunswick-area volunteer organization that defends families from fraudulent foreclosures, the numbers for 2012 are not yet available.
The Solises’ mortgage is held by the New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency.
According to Tammori Petty, a spokewoman for the Department of Community Affairs, the agency “is an authority of the State that it is in, but not of the Department of Community Affairs.”
Petty would not discuss the particulars regarding the Solis mortgage other than to say that Michael Shelton, servicing administrator for the Agency, met with Solis in May. A follow-up meeting was scheduled, Petty said in an email on June 11.
Romsted said that his group was still gathering and sending information to Shelton, who had told him that the agency “would probably be willing to postpone the eviction… while the review was in process, but there has not been a formal commitment as of yet.”
According to Petty, the agency currently has 11,000 mortgages valued at about $1.2 billion. Another 5,000 loans in the agency’s Police and Fire portfolio are worth about $1 billion, she said.
The NJHMFA “self-originates a small percentage of loans with its own staff,” Petty said, but chiefly acquires them from about 65 “approved participating private lenders.” She did not say whether Solis’ mortgage originated with the agency or was acquired.
Petty said that borrowers who become delinquent by 60 days or more are served with a Notice of Intent to initiate a foreclosure complaint. If the loan is not brought current by the mortgagor, a foreclosure complaint is filed by the investor in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Borrowers can contest the foreclosure complaint by filing an answer with the court, she said, which then sets a trial date if the case is contested.
Depending on the volume of cases, court interventions, bankruptcy filings and other factors, Petty said, a foreclosure in New Jersey can take from about one to three years.
The agency was created by the Legislature in 1983. Its Single-Family Division provides funds to purchase or improve owner-occupied one- to four-family homes, chiefly from the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds.
According to Petty, the agency contracts with private mortgage servicing companies to collect debt service, administer insurance and tax escrows and pursue delinquent borrowers.
Reach Warren Cooper at email@example.com or 908-948-1261.>