Senate Approves Sandy Bill While Foreclosure Filings Are On the Rise In New Jersey

A bill to protect Sandy victims from foreclosure was approved by the State Senate on December 20, 2016. Earlier this year, the assembly had approved the bill. The bill has now reached Governor Chris Christie for approval and may offer temporary foreclosure protection to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed many homes.

senateAccording to ATTOM Data Solutions, New Jersey is one of the states that has been experiencing high levels of foreclosure ratings over the last year, while others have seen a decline in foreclosure filings. In December 2016, New Jersey experienced the highest number of foreclosure filings among all states. According to Sandy advocates in New Jersey, many areas in the state that were hit the hardest by Hurricane Sandy have not completely recovered and are continuing to struggle to rebuild. This could possibly be a contributing factor in the high levels of foreclosure filings within the state.

According to, the proposed legislation will offer temporary foreclosure protection to those approved for assistance through the state’s “Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) and Low- and Moderate- Income (LMI) rebuilding programs.” It will also offer protection to those who received rental assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In order to receive the foreclosure protection, the Sandy victim would have to apply to the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

Part of the legislation directs the DCA commissioner to notify courts and mortgage lenders of eligible individuals. Further, DCA must notify Sandy victims of their eligibility for foreclosure protection. Also, the bill extends protection to those experiencing delays in PREM and LMI programs or if they are experiencing delays due to issues with their builder.

New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck, a co-sponsor of the legislation, stated that she would like to see the bill signed into law swiftly in order to help families who continue to struggle to pay both a mortgage and rent from losing their home while also paying to have their home rebuilt. Ms. Beck asserts that securing state and federal funds is tedious and complex.

The mortgage forbearance period would be a year after a certificate of occupancy has been issued, or July 1, 2019, whichever is earlier. Properties that are already in foreclosure would have a forbearance period 10 days after a sheriff’s sale.

According to Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, the provisions in the bill will help cut back on the red-tape and allow people to get back on track.

If you have questions or concerns regarding a foreclosure filing or need assistance in a bankruptcy or real estate matter, contact the experienced New Jersey foreclosure attorneys at The Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney. To schedule a consultation or to learn more about our extensive legal services, call (973) 256-0456.

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