(The Center Square) – Gov. Phil Murphy signed a measure to create a fund to help counsel people facing foreclosure, a move proponents say will help struggling New Jerseyans.
A-6251 creates the “New Jersey Foreclosure Counseling Fund,” which the Department of Community Affairs will administer.
In each foreclosure, plaintiffs in foreclosure cases will pay $155 to the court clerk, and $60 will be deposited in the fund along with any money collected from civil penalties. Under the law, the funds go to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) to cover the cost of trained counselors for pre-foreclosure counseling services.
“Providing this assistance will help homeowners avoid potential foreclosure and ensure that New Jerseyans are not losing their homes because of rules they may not have known about,” Assemblyman Dan Benson, D-Mercer/Middlesex, said in a news release.
The law also allows the NJHMFA to use up to 5% of the fund’s annual allocation for administrative costs.
“Addressing the housing crisis in New Jersey must include supporting and educating renters. Renters are mostly left out of housing counseling services but it’s necessary for them too,” Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, D-Bergen/Passaic, said in a news release. “This law will also make counseling more available for renters and allow them to receive guidance prior to discussions with landlords.”
Meanwhile, state Sen. Kristin Corrado, R-Totowa, said taxes are hurting New Jerseyans as they struggle in the post-pandemic environment, criticizing Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, for bragging about the state’s condition during his recent State of the State.
“Residents have repeatedly cited property taxes as their top concern,” Corrado said in a news release. “Families living in average homes, with three bedrooms and a couple baths are paying almost $800 in property taxes every month — or more than $9,200 this year. Boasting about that is delusional.”
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