Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Cryan and Senator Troy Singleton promoting the use of a mediation program to prevent foreclosures was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today.
The bill, S-2961, would enhance the notification requirements for the Foreclosure Mediation Program, informing homeowners of the free assistance available to them when facing foreclosure or loan default actions.
“Most people facing foreclosure would like to understand how mediation can help them,” said Senator Cryan (D-Union). “The mediation process provides an opportunity for homeowners to receive advice and help from attorneys, housing counselors, and a neutral mediator. They can all work together to resolve a loan delinquency and provide the homeowner with options so every participant can reach an amicable result that satisfies the obligations and commitments of both parties.”
The mediation program provides professional, highly trained lawyers, mortgage and housing counselors, and professional mediators to homeowners facing foreclosure. The program’s main goal is to assist homeowners avoid foreclosure by proposing loan workout and payment arrangements that balance the interests of the borrower, lender and banks. This is a free program to New Jersey residents.
“Since mid-March, New Jersey has not only been in a public health crisis, but an economic crisis as well,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “During these uncertain times, where over a million New Jerseyans were unemployed for a period of time, we must give homeowners every tool possible to stay in their homes. By making sure homeowners are aware of free mediation services, we can help them avoid foreclosure.”
The bill would create a prerequisite for participating in the program by having homeowners facing foreclosure meet with a trained foreclosure prevention and default mitigation counselor. This would allow homeowners to receive valuable assistance from a housing counselor and create an action plan that will help them keep their home.