New Jersey residents facing foreclosure will now get help under the bill at Murphy’s desk

A bill to create a fund to help New Jersey residents facing foreclosure is on the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy after passing the state Senate on Friday.

This measure, S3244, enacts the New Jersey Foreclosure Prevention Act. This allows the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Authority to purchase properties facing foreclosure to help residents maintain control of their homes. We can also work with homeowners to get you a more affordable mortgage.

New Jersey consistently ranks number one in the nation for foreclosures and ranked fourth in the nation for mortgage delinquencies in July. According to a 2018 report conducted by the State Attorney General’s Office, New Jersey averaged 25,000 foreclosures in 2006, and 65,000 per year in 2009.

And while foreclosures have been suspended as long as the moratorium on evictions is in place, housing advocates say there could be a flood of applications once the moratorium expires.

According to the bill, the program will be funded by the Foreclosure Intervention Fund, which includes funds from the newly imposed $350 fee on the purchase of a Sheriff’s Sale Property, and will be made within 180 days of passage.

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The bill would allow HMFA to make bulk purchases of bad debt on eligible real estate, allowing homeowners to refinance their mortgages to more affordable prices and stay in their homes.

The bill also authorizes non-profit housing organizations, local governments, and other government agencies to issue grants to perform similar duties as HMFA.

A spokeswoman for HMFA did not immediately request comment.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 26 to 9.

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