Notice of intent: A notification advising a homeowner that their outstanding mortgage balance must be settled to avoid foreclosure.
Notice of intent: A notification issued by the bank that advises the homeowner that if they do not bring their mortgage current, the bank will file a foreclosure lawsuit.
Notice of Intent: Final Step Before the Foreclosure Sale
If a homeowner is 30 to 60 days late in their mortgage payments, the bank will issue a notice of intent to foreclose, which will demand full payment of the outstanding debt, as well as fees, otherwise foreclosure on the property will proceed.
A sample notice of intent will state the following:
“You are at risk of losing the property described in this notice of intent to foreclosure. You are in default on your mortgage loan and if you do not pay what is owed, or otherwise cure your default, or enter into a loss mitigation agreement with us (such as a loan modification or other loss mitigation program) we may file a foreclosure action against the property upon the later of 45 days after we sent this notice to you or 90 days after your default.
“You may be eligible for certain programs to avoid foreclosure, but you must submit the enclosed Loss Mitigation Application and required documents to your lender or servicer.
“It is recommended that you seek housing counseling services. Call the Maryland HOPE Hotline at 1-877- 462-7555 or go to www.MDHOPE.org for information on housing counseling.”
The notice of intent must adhere to certain guidelines.
According to New York foreclosure attorney John P Fazzio III, “Under N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56, your lender has to put you on notice of its intent to foreclose, and as you note, you have to receive that notice at least 30-days before they serve you with a summons and complaint. To be effective the notice must comply with all the statutory requirements. It must be: (1) sent by the debtor (not their servicer); and (2) be sent certified mail with a return receipt.”
After receiving a notice of intent, homeowners are advised to take immediate action by either bringing the defaulted loan current or contacting the bank’s loss mitigation department to propose a loan modification that allows for the homeowner to reduce their monthly payments for an established period of time.
Though most states have different requirements, most specify that the notice of intent must include the following information, as exemplified by the New Jersey Fair Foreclosure Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56:
- The particular obligation or real estate security interest.
- The nature of the default claimed.
- The right of the Debtor to cure the default as provided in the Act.
- The amount of money, including any interest, that must be tendered to cure the default.
- The date by which the default must be cured in order to avoid foreclosure proceedings.
- The name, address and telephone number of a person to whom to the payment should be made, that failure to cure the default will allow the lender to take steps to terminate the Debtor’s ownership in the property by commencing a foreclosure suit.
- The right to transfer the real estate to another person subject to the security interest, advise that the owner seek counsel from an attorney of their own choosing and provide information regarding the New Jersey Bar Association, Lawyer Referral Service or, if appropriate, Legal Services Offices in the county.
- The possibility of financial assistance through State, Federal or Non-Profit programs.
- The name and address of the lender and the telephone number of a representative of the lender, if the owner disagrees with the lender’s assertions.
Any deviation from these requirements may be grounds for challenging the foreclosure process.