With funding from the U.S. Treasury’s “Hardest Hit Fund”, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is now administering the HomeKeeper program which is designed to help homeowners whose mortgage payments have been affected by the state of the economy. The “Hardest Hit Fund” has awarded monies to states which were most impacted by unemployment or underemployment. The HomeKeeper program will grant 0% interest loans with a maximum amount of $48,000 over 24 months to eligible homeowners to pay for mortgage, taxes and related insurance. After five years the loan is forgiven at the rate of 20% per year. Please click here for more information on this program.
There are Options to Help You Stay Afloat
If you are currently a mortgage holder and you are having difficulty making your payments, first consult your lender or loan officer to explore options other than foreclosure, such as seeking a forbearance, loan modification, refinance, or selling your home through a short sale. There are loan modification programs and refinancing options being offered through the following organizations:
Contact a housing counselor in New Jersey. They can offer guidance to hopefully lead you to recovery and help you stay in your home.
If losing your home is in the foreseeable future, it may be in your favor to consider a short sale. The short sale’s effect on credit may not be as detrimental as a foreclosure.
A short sale* is a transaction for the sale and purchase of real property where the purchase price is less than the amount required to pay off the liens on the real property, such as mortgages, judgments, taxes, homeowner or condominium association fees, assessments, as well as closing costs including but not limited to brokerage commissions, realty transfer fee, and attorney’s fees.
It is recommended that homeowners contact a knowledgeable REALTOR® to help navigate a short sale transaction and market the property to potential buyers. Look for a REALTOR® in your area. Short sales can be lengthy processes as they tend to involve numerous parties, such as the lender and any other lien holders.
Beware of foreclosure recovery scams, or fraudulent companies that target borrowers at risk for losing their home. Read the warning signs to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Only consult trustworthy resources from state and local government agencies aimed at helping you to avoid foreclosure.
If you are a Military Homeowner: Fannie Mae and the U.S. Army offer options that can help avoid foreclosure for those who are struggling with their mortgage payments. They offer a mortgage payment forbearance of up to six months where the death or injury of a service member on active duty causes a hardship for impacted military families with a mortgage obligation. The company also announced the creation of a special hotline,877-MIL-4566, available to all service members to receive guidance about their mortgage options and enlist assistance.
Freddie Mac Releases Foreclosure Info Videos In an effort to help consumers get facts on foreclosure, Freddie Mac has launched a new video series on its YouTube Channel. The five videos dispel the common myths of foreclosure and provide information and resources that just might keep individuals from losing their home. The videos are based on content from the Freddie Mac "Get the Facts on Homeownership" education and outreach materials. Active real estate professionals play an integral role in their communities as trusted advisors on all housing matters. These videos will assist in delivering homeownership facts to their clients and other consumers.
*Short sales can have serious legal, credit and tax implications. Navigating through these long and often-confusing transactions can be difficult. It is advised that you work with a knowledgeable REALTOR® and consult an attorney or tax professional with regard to potential short sales whenever possible