Trenton – In response to the job layoffs and decreased income for New Jerseyans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate Budget Committee today passed legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton which would establish the “New Jersey Foreclosure Prevention Act” to directly assist those facing foreclosure.
“New Jersey has made great strides in addressing the previous foreclosure crisis, and we do not want to see history repeat itself when the foreclosure moratorium is eventually lifted,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington), Chair of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. “With the pandemic decimating the economy, countless people around the state are on the brink of losing their homes. The ‘New Jersey Foreclosure Prevention Act’ will help to stave off a wave of foreclosures, and more importantly, keep families in their homes.”
Under the bill, S-3244, the newly established program would allow the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) to purchase eligible properties facing foreclosure in order to assist residents in retaining control of the properties. This would allow the NJHMFA to work with homeowners in making their mortgages more affordable. The goal of this bill is to prevent these properties from falling vacant and joining the ranks of thousands of vacant homes that already exist in New Jersey.
The program would be funded by the Foreclosure Intervention Fund, which would contain money gathered through a new $350 fee on sheriff’s sales property purchases. Sales consist of vacant or foreclosed properties available in a given community.
The NJHMFA would have within 180 days following this bill’s enactment to adopt a funding plan utilizing the Foreclosure Intervention Fund.
In the spring of 2019, the Governor signed into law a major bill package sponsored by Senator Singleton aimed at tackling the state’s foreclosure crisis, and more specifically, addressing the significant number of abandoned and vacant homes throughout neighborhoods and communities. The bills provided clarity on the locations of these homes and offered local and municipal governments the tools necessary to respond.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 11-1.