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foreclosure

Performance Property Real Estate Question

The REAL Difference Between Condos & Co-ops

Q: I’m thinking about buying a condo or a co-op, what’s the difference? Camilla, North Bergen, NJ A: Condos and co-ops are similar to the extent that individual owners live in separate units and share common areas. Condos are run by condo associations whereas co-ops have a board of directors. The difference between a condo and a coop is that each entity has a different method of ownership. When you buy a condo, just like when you buy a single family home, you possess ‘fee simple’ ownership, which gives the owner control to use and transfer the property at will. Owning a co-op is more like owning stock in a company. If you have the money to buy a condo, […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

What Attorneys Don’t Tell You About Bankruptcy

Q: When I filed for bankruptcy several years ago, my bankruptcy attorney said I no longer had to worry about paying back my home equity loan. I’m trying to sell my home now and the buyer’s title company says that the loan has to be paid. Did my attorney lie to me? Brendan, Scotch Plains, NJ A: Mortgages and deeds of trust have two parts: 1) part one is the promissory note which is the promise to repay the loan and 2) part two is the lien on the property, which grants the lender the right to foreclose on the property in order to recover money it’s owed in case of a default. In bankruptcy, debts are either reaffirmed or […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

The 3 Demons Of Tax Lien Foreclosure

Q: We received a foreclosure notice this month. I was surprised because our grandmother’s home is paid off. I know we owe taxes but I didn’t think they could foreclose for that. Earl, Orange, NJ A: Yes, Earl, theoretically any unpaid lien holder can file a foreclosure lawsuit on a property to recoup what is owed. Unfortunately, tax lien foreclosure is a faster, more expedited process than mortgage foreclosure so it’s important to act quickly to pay off the past due property taxes to force the plaintiff to cancel the lawsuit. There are 3 individuals that you have to worry about when facing a tax lien foreclosure: Tax Lienholder Foreclosure Attorney Bankruptcy Attorney The tax lienholder is normally an investor […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

Can A Widowed Spouse Lose Their Home

Q: My husband died a while back. A courier served me with a foreclosure notice a few weeks ago. I called the attorney on the notice and they said that my husband had a home equity line of credit on the house, which I was not aware of. Do I have to pay this? Edna, Hillside, NJ A: The first thing you should do if you haven’t already is to probate your husband’s estate. Probate is the court-supervised act of paying debts, closing accounts, and distributing the assets and belongings of an individual after their death. Generally speaking, assets such as real estate will either switch ownership to a beneficiary or be sold to pay for any debts. As part […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

What Is A Super Lien & Is NJ A Super Lien State

Q: Gerald, I have owned my condo for years.  My building only has 6 condo units and the owners manage the building ourselves to save money.  One of the owners is way behind on their monthly condo fees.  Is there anything the other owners can do?  Jackie, Elizabeth, NJ A: The simple answer to your question is yes, there is something you and the other owners in your building can do–you can record a lien for the unpaid condo fees on the unit owned by the delinquent owner. After you record a lien, you have the option of foreclosing on the condo unit in question. However, if the delinquent owner has a mortgage on their condo unit, your lien for […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

Why Not Paying Property Taxes Is Riskier Than Missing Mortgage Payments

Q: Gerald, my brothers and sisters and I inherited my parents house and I just realized my sister has not been paying the property taxes like she was supposed to.  I fell behind on my mortgage before and was able to modify my mortgage loan.  Can we do the same thing in this situation?  Annette, Linden, NJ A: Annette, unfortunately, municipal liens take precedence and subordinate even mortgage liens and the tax lien foreclosure process is faster and much more unforgiving than the foreclosure process is for delinquent mortgages where borrowers enjoy much more consumer protections.  My first suggestion is that you get a payoff from the local tax collector where your parents’ home is located so you know exactly […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

Foreclosure Danger Reverse Mortgage Holders Face

Q: My grandparents are thinking about getting a reverse mortgage.  Is it true they can lose their home after getting a reverse mortgage? Helen, Bridgewater, NJ A: The simple answer to your question is yes.  If at any point during the loan period a reverse mortgage holder becomes delinquent on property taxes, homeowner’s insurance or HOA fees it could result in a default that could trigger a foreclosure action against the reverse mortgage holder.  In addition, since one of the terms of a reverse mortgage is that the homeowner is required to live inside the home as their principal residence for most of the year, if the reverse mortgage holder spends the majority of the year living outside the property […]

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Real Estate Insight

1.5 Million Homeowners Are 90 Days Or More Behind On Their Mortgage Payments

1.5 million homeowners are 90 days or more behind on their mortgage payments but not in foreclosure. Those who aren’t forced out will still be displaced if selling is their only option, and an estimated 1 in 10 borrowers in forbearance will not have enough equity to sell.

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

Foreclosure & Eviction Moratorium Extended One Final Month

Q: Are the foreclosure & eviction moratoriums actually going to end at the end of June as scheduled? Frank, Woodland Park, NJ A: The CDC extended the eviction moratorium for one final month until the end of July and FHFA followed suit by extending the foreclosure moratorium until July 31st 2021. Both the CDC and FHFA indicated that these one month extensions are the last and final extensions.  NAR (the National Association of REALTORS) as well as The National Apartment Association (NAA) have pushed to end the eviction moratorium.  While the basic premise behind the foreclosure & eviction moratoriums was sound in preventing evictions and foreclosures in the middle of a deadly pandemic, some tenants not facing financial pressure have […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

How Bank REOs Will Be Different Post Pandemic

Q: When the foreclosure moratorium finally ends will there be lots of bank owned property opportunities? Rose, Brick, NJ A: There will certainly be more bank-owned properties (aka REOs) than there are now because foreclosure sheriff sales stopped during the pandemic. However, since home inventory is still so low in most places in the US, we should expect banks to be greedy–looking for top dollar for every property they foreclose on and then sell. I anticipate that banks with their REOs will make the same mistakes that many home sellers are making now as home prices continue to climb–overpricing homes hoping someone will pay higher than market price. If and when that happens, it’s important to be patient, because when […]

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Real Estate Insight

16% More US Residential Properties Received A Foreclosure Filing In February

16 percent more US residential properties received a foreclosure filing in February compared to January.

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Real Estate Insight

About 5.8 Million Adults Say They Are Likely To Face Eviction Or Foreclosure

About 5.8 million adults say they are somewhat to very likely to face eviction or foreclosure in the next two months.

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Real Estate Insight

FHFA Extended Foreclosure and Real Estate Owned Eviction Moratoriums

FHFA Extended Foreclosure and Real Estate Owned Eviction Moratoriums Through Dec. 31.

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

What Happens At End Of The Foreclosure Moratorium

Q: How long will the foreclosure moratorium last? Eileen, Palisades Park, NJ A: The foreclosure moratorium had been set to expire at the end of June and was extended through the end of August–it certainly can and may be extended again. At present, the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures seems to be having their intended effect. Foreclosure filings are currently at their lowest rate in 15 Years. The FHFA oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks. Together, these entities provide more than $6.4 trillion in aggregate funding for U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions. Over 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment so far. Though new jobless claims have been slowing, the […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

3 Recent Changes to NJ Foreclosure Laws

Q: How will the new foreclosure legislation in NJ affect the process? Henry, Chatham, NJ A: Many of the new foreclosure law changes enacted in 2019 in NJ are procedural and are intended to help struggling homeowners facing foreclosure. Here are 3 of the new changes: 1) NJ’s foreclosure mediation program was strengthened 2) The statute of limitations for most residential foreclosure actions was reduced from 20 years to 6 years from the date the debtor defaults 3) the additional time granted for the two automatic adjournments that homeowners facing foreclosure can apply for to postpone a sheriff sale were doubled–each adjournment now results in a four week postponement–up from 2 weeks. Thanks for your question, Henry. For more real […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

Big Mistake Realtors Make With Foreclosure Listings

Q: I have a new listing and the property is on the sheriff sale list. I don’t have much experience with foreclosures, what should I do to get this closed? Nancy, Bayonne, NJ A: I’ll start by differentiating between pre-foreclosures and REOs. With a pre-foreclosure, the homeowner still owns the house, whereas an REO, which stands for real estate owned is post-foreclosure and is owned typically by the lender or party that successfully foreclosed on the property. As with all listings, it’s important that you don’t over-price—although it may seem counterintuitive, lower listing prices typically result in higher sales prices because the listing will attract a wider pool of buyers. Pre-foreclosures like the one you just listed bring an additional […]

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Real Estate Insight

Foreclosure Inventory Rate Down 0.2 Percentage Points From March ’18

As of March 2019, the foreclosure inventory rate – which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – was 0.4%, down 0.2 percentage points from March 2018.

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Real Estate Tip

Gerald’s Real Estate Tip of the – Week of 9/11/18

Familiarize yourself with the risks associated with buying foreclosed property at an auction or sheriff sale before you bid or buy.

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

Foreclosure Trend Sweeping The Nation

Q: Gerald, we’re under contract to buy a short sale property.  How much time do we have to close before the bank forecloses on the property? Bonnie, Totowa, NJ A: Great question Bonnie, the simple answer to your question is that it depends on how far along in the foreclosure process the borrower who owns the property you are buying is.  In many places like North Jersey where you live, you can check the sheriff sale list online to see if there is a sheriff sale date scheduled—the foreclosure process is different in different states and areas but where you live, there normally has to be a sheriff sale scheduled before a property is actually foreclosed on.  If there is […]

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Performance Property Real Estate Question

What The Hell Is A Zombie Foreclosure?!

Q: Gerald, I heard an economist recently say that the number of zombie foreclosures were going down. What The Hell Is A Zombie Foreclosure?! Jamie, Bayonne, NJ A: A zombie title is a real estate title that has stayed with the owner of a residential property after the mortgage lender has begun a foreclosure process (making the owner believe in some cases that they no longer own the property).  If the lender does not finish the foreclosure process, the title to the property remains in zombie status, which means it remains in limbo, hence the phrase, zombie foreclosure. Some homeowners pack up and move when they receive a foreclosure notice because they assume the lender will take the property from […]

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The 3 Keys To Buying Property That Will Make You The Most Money

Q: Which properties will make me the most money? (The 3 Keys To Buying Property That Will Make You The Most Money) June, Freeport, NY A: Good question, June. There are many factors that play into whether you’ll make money on a property you buy, but here are 3 key ones: 1. Picking the right area/neighborhood/street. This is critical because the right area will make your property more attractive to tenants if it’s a rental property and more attractive to buyers whenever you choose to sell your property 2. Picking the right kind of property-based on your budget (what you can afford to buy and maintain while you own it) and your exit strategy—exit strategy just means what you ultimately […]

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Gerald’s Real Estate Tip of the Week 1/28/14

Real Estate Tip: Most of the best real estate deals will involve properties that are in need of repair.  In order to capitalize on these rehab deals, you or someone you work with will need to know how much time and money are required to renovate these properties.   -Gerald  

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Gerald’s Article Insights: Home Equity And The Five-year Rule

It’s a good idea to have at least one exit strategy when you buy any asset especially one as expensive as a house.  Nobody can predict the future, but you can and should think about how you would deal with a job transfer, job loss, an extra mouth to feed or some other unexpected life event.   If you had to sell, do you have enough money to pay closing costs and transfer fees?  Would you be able to rent your property if you needed to?  If so, what is the current market rent and would the monthly rent cover your mortgage payment and other housing-related expenses?  There are no guarantees in life, but in real estate as with most financial […]

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Gerald’s Article Insights: Unrecorded Mortgage From ‘Bank of Mom’ Fails to Qualify for Interest Deduction

Your mortgage must be secured and recorded to be tax deductible.  If you borrow from a big financial institution to buy a home like most of us do, you shouldn’t have to worry about your lender making sure their collateral is safe and your interest payments are deductible.  Your lender should send you a statement every year indicating the amount of mortgage interest you paid—it’s a good idea to check that statement to make sure it matches the scheduled interest to be paid for that year on your mortgage loan’s amortization schedule.  There are some politicians who have recently suggested we reconsider the powerful mortgage interest deduction that property owners benefit from.  Eliminating or restricting the mortgage interest deduction would […]

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Gerald’s Article Insights: How Cash Income Can Cost You When Applying for a Mortgage

In addition to bank account cash deposits, you must be careful about all your credit card purchase activity for the few months before you close on your mortgage.  A big purchase like a car for example, may affect your debt-to-income ratio which could derail a mortgage approval.  As a precaution and part of your mortgage planning, I suggest you ask your mortgage broker or banker exactly what activities may spoil your mortgage confirmation; avoid all those activities until your mortgage is approved AND funded! -Gerald Click here for the original article!

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Gerald’s Article Insights: “How Much Should You Save to Buy a House?”

The ultimate cost of owning a house unfortunately goes well beyond the initial money required to purchase a home.  There are regular maintenance, upkeep and replacement costs you’ll have to pay for over time, particularly if you do not purchase a new home.  Home ownership is a worthy goal and in order to maintain your home, make certain you put aside enough reserves to pay for unexpected repairs and replacement of major items like a roof.  In order to do this, it’s a good idea not to spend your last dime when you purchase your property–leave some money left over for unanticipated costs which almost always occur. -Gerald Click here for the original article!  

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Gerald’s Article Insights: Now Americans Are Going Crazy About Tiny ‘Micro’ Apartments

The new micro-housing trend seen in cities across America underscores broader demographic changes that will affect the US economy and urban real estate markets for many years to come.  More than 2/3rds of all households have no children and housing demand in general is becoming more concentrated in areas where there are jobs.  In addition, people are living longer and seniors normally require less living space after they retire.  Smaller households require less living space which is why this micro-housing trend will continue. -Gerald Click here for the original article!  

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Gerald’s Article Insights: Congress Urges Loan Limits Stay Put

This letter sent by 13 Senators, one of whom is my Senator from New Jersey is a welcome sign that at least some of our representatives in Congress are paying attention to something other than raising money to get re-elected. While encouraging private growth in the mortgage market is an admirable goal, as the saying goes: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Lowering the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan limits may turn out to be a dangerous experiment that we can ill afford right now in the middle of an encouraging yet fragile real estate recovery. -Gerald   Click here for the original article!

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Gerald’s Article Insights: “Your Credit Score Needs to be This Good to Get a Mortgage”

Your credit score has an enormous influence on your ability to borrow money to buy a home or even to qualify to rent an apartment.  Your credit score also has a profound impact on many other aspects of your life like the qualifying to get a job, qualifying to get student loans, car loans or credit cards as well as the amount of interest you’ll ultimately pay on those loans.  There’s only one true credit score that is used by lenders to decide whether you qualify for a home loan, a car loan or some other kind of credit–that one true credit score is your FICO score; FICO stands for Fair Isaac  Corporation.  Proof of the fact that your FICO […]

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Gerald’s Article Insights: “Foreclosures dog even wealthiest home buyers”

Defaulting on your mortgage payments is rarely what you have in mind when you buy a property—but if you don’t have the money, then you can’t pay.   As the saying goes, you can’t get blood from a turnip.  The good news for people who did default on their mortgage during the financial crisis is that there are lots of other people who found themselves in this identical position.  With millions of people in the same unfortunate situation, it’s in the best interest of both banks and the federal government to find a responsible way to lend to previously foreclosed-upon homeowners who have since recovered financially.  It will most likely take more time and require more paperwork to get approved for […]

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Real Estate Expert Gerald Lucas Featured on NBC as Guest on America’s PremierExperts

Gerald Lucas was recently seen on NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX network affiliates around the country as an expert guest on the TV show, America’s PremierExperts® Jersey City, NJ – October 11, 2013 – Gerald Lucas, Managing Director of Performance Property, LLC., was recently featured on the hit TV show “America’s PremierExperts®” which aired on NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX network affiliates around the country. “America’s PremierExperts®” host Nick Nanton interviews the best business, marketing and financial minds from around the world.  In the interview, Gerald described how he accidentally began his career as a real estate investor and how he has shared his knowledge and many years of experience with hundreds of his students throughout the United States and […]

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Gerald’s Article Insights: “Why Real Estate Could Be the Next Hot Investment, Even Now”

Real estate is always a good investment if you know what you are doing regardless of whether the writer of this article says it’s the next hottest investment or not. Also, you should not use averages and macro trends like # of housing starts or # of new permits to make an individual real estate buying decision. There are people who make money and people who lose money in EVERY real estate market–you just want to make sure you are one of the former. The writer does give two good pieces of advice: 1) “Investors should should filter opportunities based on the project partner and project’s ability to generate yield & 2) investors should come in with an understanding that […]

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Gerald’s Article Insights: “5 Red Hot Housing Markets”

Headlines like RED HOT HOUSING MARKETS are compelling and attention-grabbing, but it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that banks are still saddled with tons of foreclosures and pre-foreclosure properties. Because there are still so many homeowners upside down on the mortgages or behind on their mortgage payments, banks are deliberately manipulating housing inventories giving the impression that a housing recovery is happening. Ultimately, income drives everything and a long sustained housing recovery is not going to happen until the economy and people’s incomes start rising again. Do your homework and get intimately familiar with your local real estate market because every residential real estate market is different—each local market has its own property characteristics, its own regulations […]

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Gerald’s Article Insights: “FHA gifts prior offending homeowners a shortened wait to purchase another home”

By the reducing the waiting period for a government-backed mortgage, this new FHA rule change represents a huge benefit to homeowners who’ve experienced financial hardship and found themselves unable to meet their mortgage obligations. The welcomed change incentivizes homeowners in mortgage default to resolve their current financial hardship quickly rather than languishing in pre-foreclosure limbo. The rule change should help homeowners in crisis to get back on the road to financial solvency and homeownership more quickly which is a boon for the real estate industry, the banking industry as well as the overall US economy. -Gerald Click Here to Read The Original Article!

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Real Estate Expert Gerald Lucas Featured in Fast Company Magazine

Gerald Lucas is currently featured in the July/August Edition of Fast Company as one of “America’s Top Business Leaders.” Jersey City, NJ – July 3rd, 2013 – Gerald Lucas, Managing Director of Performance Property, LLC., can be seen on  newsstands across the United States in the current edition of Fast Company magazine. In a  full-page feature, Gerald Lucas is being recognized by America’s PremierExperts® as one of “America’s Top Business Leaders.” The July/August edition of Fast Company hit store shelves on June 25, 2013. Here’s what the Fast Company feature had to say about Gerald Lucas: Gerald Lucas is a real estate investor, author, coach and professional speaker. Gerald has developed numerous condominium complexes, owned and managed apartment buildings and […]

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Ask Gerald!

Q: I’m a new landlord. I’m preparing to rent out an apartment in my new property. A friend of mine told me to avoid section 8 tenants. Can I refuse to rent to a tenant if he or she gets section 8 assistance? John, New Brunswick, New Jersey Gerald: Hi John. In New Jersey you cannot discriminate based on a person’s source of income, thus refusing to rent your apartment to a tenant because they receive section 8 assistance would certainly violate that rule. Landlord tenant laws vary a great deal from place to place, so always consult the rules in the area where your property is located. As a landlord, it’s best to have a thorough written rental policy […]

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After a short sale, when can I buy a home?

If you’re paying cash, you can buy a home the day after you short sell your property.   You can also qualify for a home loan again soon after a short sale in some cases in two years or less. Short sellers normally have to wait for a period of time after closing a short sale to qualify for a new mortgage loan, but the time frame and requirements vary depending on the type of loan and the down payment they are able and willing to pay. For a conventional loan, the higher the down payment a buyer is willing to pay after a short sale, the shorter the amount of time that is required to wait to qualify for another […]

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Extension of Mortgage Debt Relief Act

Homeowners breathed a collective sigh of relief after Congress extended the mortgage debt relief act as part of the fiscal cliff resolution.

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Mortgage Loans and Foreclosure: If You Run and Hide, You Make A Bad Situation Even Worse

When debt is closing in on you, it’s natural to want to get away and run for cover. Unfortunately, when you deliberately dodge your mortgage lender, you reduce the number of choices you have and you give your bank more control over your future.

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Short Sale Versus Foreclosure – Which Option is Better For Me?

It’s very easy to get discouraged and want to give up when you fall behind on your mortgage payments. I’ve heard many homeowners say, “I’ve already ruined my credit, it can’t get any worse.” Unfortunately, it can get worse, because the nightmare does not end when the bank forecloses on your property.

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