Foreclosure in New Jersey: two new bills ready to help

Many people may not realize this, but New Jersey has the 2nd highest rate of foreclosures on sub-prime loans in the country, behind Florida.

Not only do foreclosures effect individuals and families, but they also effect entire neighborhoods and towns. In areas with high foreclosure rates, there is a cascading effect on the neighborhoods they are in. Local businesses are effected since the residents that support their business have lost their homes. Municipalities suffer since the percentage of REO properties increases, effecting municipal services and the overall appeal of the town as a whole. Who wants to live a town overrun with vacant, run-down homes?

Legislative Response

There are 2 new bills awaiting approval. The first, the Foreclosure Fairness Act (S.2777/A4063), is designed to protect tenants who may be effected by an impending foreclosure of the property they are renting, and their rights to remain in their home. Should a creditor attempt to place pressure on tenants of a property they have foreclosed on, civil penalties may be imposed. This helps to provide important protections for tenants who may be caught in the middle of a foreclosure action on the home, apartment building or other rented property that they are residing in. This bill also modifies and clarifies the recently enacted Mortgage Stabilization and Relief Act.

The second bill, S.3067/A.4316, is also designed to take the Mortgage Stabilization and Relief Act (s.1599), and allocate monies to families and neighborhoods effected by foreclosure. It would make loans and other financing available to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed properties. The bill also allocates additional funds for counseling families who are facing foreclosure, rather than waiting until foreclosure has already taken place.

Both of these bills are being introduced to further stabilize the real estate market in our state, as well as help individuals and families effected by the recession. We need to keep an eye on the bigger picture — if we can keep more people in their homes, neighborhoods remain vibrant, local businesses thrive,  and municipalities can continue to provide vital services.

You can read more about these bills, as well as find other valuable resources about the foreclosure problems in the state of New Jersey, by visiting the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey web site.

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