Ask Your COVID-19 Questions Here
What housing and rental assistance and mortgage relief is available for New Jerseyans? Are there protections for eviction or foreclosure?
On March 19, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 106, which states that any lessee, tenant, homeowner or any other person shall not be removed from a residential property as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding. Your landlord cannot remove you from your home during this emergency.
Additionally, several major national financial institutions - including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America - are committing to not initiate foreclosure sales or eviction proceedings for at least 60 days.
On March 28, 2020, Governor Murphy announced that financial institutions will provide mortgage forbearance and financial protections for New Jerseyans facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. The initiative has secured support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and PNC Bank, in addition to over 40 other federal and state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers, with more financial institutions expected to sign on in the coming days. Under the proposal, New Jerseyans who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for the following relief upon contacting their financial institution:
90-Day Grace Period for Mortgage Payments: Financial institutions will offer, consistent with applicable guidelines, mortgage payment forbearances of up to 90 days to borrowers economically impacted by COVID-19. In addition, those institutions will:
- Provide borrowers a streamlined process to request a forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
- Confirm approval of and termsof forbearance program; and
- Provide borrowers theopportunity to request additional relief, as practicable, upon continued showing of hardship due to COVID-19.
No Negative Credit Impacts Resulting from Relief: Financial institutions will not report derogatory tradelines (e.g., late payments) to credit reporting agencies, consistent with applicable guidelines, for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19-related relief.
Relief from Fees and Charges: For at least 90 days, financial institutions will waive or refund at least the following for customers who have requested assistance:
- Mortgage-related late fees; and
- Other fees, including early CD withdrawals (subject to applicable federal regulations).
Homeowners should contact lenders directly to take advantage of this relief. These lenders are experiencing high volumes of inquiries and may recommend using online services when available. Loans held by a financial institution may be serviced by another company.
For more information on COVID-19 related mortgage relief, please visit here: https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/covid/mortgagerelief.html
Additional Housing Assistance
Visit www.nj.gov/dca/dcaid to see if you are eligible for any of the state's housing assistance programs. These include temporary assistance to households who are being evicted due to a short- term loss of income and temporary financial assistance to help pay for housing and case management and services to maintain housing. There are also programs available to help veterans, low-income families, the elderly, single-parents, and more.
To further aid both homeowners and renters facing hardship, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is expanding its Foreclosure Mediation Assistance Program (FMAP) to include renter and pre-foreclosure counseling through a network of housing counselors in each county. Counseling is free, available now, and can be provided remotely.
Counselors will provide 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.
For a list of housing counselors participating in FMAP, visit: https://njhousing.gov/foreclosure
Source: https://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200328c.shtml; https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200319c.shtml