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Bill to Expand Foreclosure Mediation Assistance During a State of Emergency Clears the Senate

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Trenton – Furthering efforts to aid and support disaster victims who may face foreclosure proceedings during a time of declared emergency, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Lagana and Senator Renee Burgess to expand the scope of foreclosure mediation assistance in order to help those affected prepare and process applications for relief at both the state and federal levels.


“The thought of losing your home due to circumstances beyond your control and brought on during a time of emergency is horrible to imagine,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen). “Providing knowledgeable counselors to help homeowners and renters navigate the proper avenues to receive assistance for which they are eligible will give people some peace of mind during their time of crisis.”


The bill would expand the scope of the New Jersey Foreclosure Counseling Fund, established during the State of Emergency brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic, to provide homeowners and renters’ assistance in the preparation and submission of applications for housing related expenses.


Individuals who have been impacted by real property damage as a result of an event that prompted the Governor or the President of the United States to declare a state of emergency or issue an emergency disaster declaration would be eligible for assistance.


“Persons who have perhaps already suffered a devastating personal loss or trauma are not always in the clearest state of mind to know where to turn to for help. This bill seeks to help ease some of that burden and give residents something to hold on to as they seek relief,” said Senator Burgess (D-Essex).


Under the bill, assistance in the preparation and submission of applications for housing related expenses includes, but is not limited to:


  • rental payments;
  • mortgage payments;
  • insurance payments;
  • property tax payments; and
  • repair, rehabilitation, or relocation assistance payments that have been made available, by the State or federal government, in response to the declared emergency or disaster.


The bill, S-3795, was passed in the Senate on a vote of 37-0.