At the direction of Governor Murphy, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s (NJHMFA) housing counseling initiative is expanding to include renters, who may be concerned with eviction, and homeowners who may need counseling to help prevent possible foreclosure. These services are available at no cost to you. NJHMFA is expanding its Foreclosure Mediation Assistance Program (FMAP) to include renter and pre-foreclosure counseling by utilizing a network of participating housing counselors in each county. The counseling is available now and can be provided remotely.
The expanded program will now include pre-foreclosure counseling to provide upfront assistance to help homeowners avoid potential foreclosure. At the same time, the counseling made available to renters will guide them on how to approach discussions with their landlords on dealing with their rent situation.
Renters can also review our list of NJHMFA Properties Affected by Rent Increase Suspension to see if their property is affected by the recent rent increase freeze.
To learn more about your rights and the resources available to you as a renter during the COVID-19 crisis, visit New Jersey's Eviction Moratorium Information & Question Form.
If yes, free housing counseling is available through NJHMFA’s Foreclosure Mediation Assistance Program.
Mediation can save a home from foreclosure, yet too many homeowners enter the foreclosure process with their mortgage lender without an understanding of the type of relief that may be available to them. Free housing counseling assistance is available to help.
To qualify for mediation:
- The property must be the subject of an active residential mortgage foreclosure action.
- Mediation must be requested within 60 days after service of the foreclosure summons and complaint unless a court order is entered directing the parties to mediation.
- The homeowner must be living in the property that is in foreclosure, and all borrowers listed on the note must agree to participate in mediation.
- The homeowner will not qualify if they are in bankruptcy.
How can housing counseling help?
A housing counselor acts as an advocate and can help guide homeowners through New Jersey’s existing court mediation program by creating an action plan to help to try and save your home. They can also determine if the homeowner requires further assistance and can provide other services, such as negotiating with the lender or providing post-mediation counseling and/or transition assistance.
Research has shown that homeowners who participated in counseling:
- were nearly three times as likely to receive a loan modification;
- 70 percent more likely to remain current on their mortgage after receiving the loan modification;
- achieved on average a reduction of $5,000 annually on their mortgage payment.
If you qualify for mediation assistance, contact a housing counselor assigned to the county you live in as soon as possible.
Don't wait. The sooner you call a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor, the more options you'll have.
For more information on the New Jersey Courts Foreclosure Mediation Program, please visit the New Jersey Courts Office of Foreclosure.