What do zombies and vampires have to do with foreclosures?

With Halloween right around the corner, people all across New Jersey are thinking up costumes or practicing their ghoulish makeup for a night of dress-up and fun. But as kids go door-to-door this Halloween, people may want to be aware that there could be some zombies and vampires behind some of those doors in this state, and they have nothing to do with trick-or-treating.

Two terms have emerged to describe trends in foreclosure: vampire homes and zombie homes. These phrases have been adopted to describe how New Jersey residents are dealing with the frightening possibility of losing their homes. Studies suggest that most people going through the foreclosure process in this state end up with a zombie or vampire home. But what do these terms mean?

If a homeowner has physically left a home before the completion of the foreclosure process, that home is referred to as a zombie home. Once a person has learned that their house has gone into foreclosure, he or she may simply move out and leave the home, even before a bank has reclaimed the property. The homeowner is still the owner of the house until the foreclosure is completed.

On the other hand, if the foreclosure process has been completed, but the homeowner does not move out in the 45 days that he or she is typically given to move out, it is referred to as a vampire home. These homes are owned by the banks but a homeowner continues to live in it long after the foreclosure has been completed. One of the main reasons that a person would stay in a foreclosed home past this deadline is that it can take more than 1,000 days for an average foreclosure process to be completed in New Jersey. This delay is making people less rushed to move out.

Facing the possibility of foreclosure can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. The process itself can be very complicated and lengthy, and homeowners may not understand what their rights are when it comes to leaving a home or foreclosure defense. Rather than having a zombie or vampire home, New Jersey residents can work with an attorney to explore their options for tackling real estate issues and make the process less frightening.

Source: New Jersey Newsroom, “Vampire and Zombie Homes Growing In New Jersey,” Carley Canada-Banks, Oct. 10, 2013

Related Posts: Finding a real solution to foreclosure, Bad at math? Watch out for foreclosure, Man who never missed a mortgage payment facing foreclosure

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Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
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