Lawmakers push bill to help families stay home despite foreclosure

Lawmakers in New Jersey introduced legislation last week aimed at helping families facing foreclosure keep their homes and make housing more affordable.

Called the “Community Wealth Preservation Program,” the bill would allow foreclosed homeowners or their relatives to buy back their homes at foreclosure sales, allowing nonprofits to purchase foreclosed properties at affordable prices. Help build homes and enable people to create incentives to buy and live in abandoned homes. There, instead of investors trying to flip them for profit.

The action comes as foreclosures rise nationwide. New Jersey has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. One of his 2,510 homes has been foreclosed, according to real estate data firm Attom.

Prime sponsor Rep. Britney Timberlake (D-Essex) said foreclosures are most common in urban areas and disproportionately affect residents of color.

“Black and brown wealth is bleeding from the loss of seized property, and people living in communities often do not have sufficient funds to participate in the seizure process. It’s a creative opportunity for families to save assets during a foreclosure sale,” Timberlake said.

When the bill was put to a vote before a full legislature on Thursday, Rep. Beth Sawyer (R-Gloucester) warned that one provision could have the unintended effect of facilitating foreclosures. Sawyer is a longtime real estate agent and broker.

To make seized properties more affordable to the people who live there rather than investors trying to resell them, the bill would reduce the required security deposit from 20% to 3.5%, allowing buyers to borrow. I will give you 2 more months to pay what you have. I agree to live in that house for seven years. Violators face fines that can exceed $500,000.

“Think of what happened in the last two years. People lost their lives, lost their jobs, moved,” Sawyer said, referring to the recession caused by the pandemic. “This basically holds these people hostage in their homes for seven years. What if they can’t make their payments? There’s another foreclosure crisis.”

Sawyer has called on lawmakers to amend the bill to lower residency requirements or otherwise tweak it to account for the hidden economic instability that could threaten homebuyer stability. I was.

But Timberlake said the law provides an out for buyers who endure unexpected death, disability, divorce, military deployment, or other circumstances during the seven-year residency requirement.

Members of Congress went ahead and passed the bill by a margin of 46 to 30, largely in line with party lines. Senator Nia Gill (D-Essex) sponsored the Senate version of the bill before the Senate Committee on Community and Urban Affairs.

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