3-Year Foreclosure Ban for Sandy Victims Headed to Christie’s Desk
December 17, 2015
TRENTON — A bill aimed at keeping thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims from entering into foreclosure for three years passed both houses of the state Legislature on Thursday.
The bill (S2577) would prevent lenders from foreclosing on homeowners waiting for funds through rebuilding grant programs run by the state.
It would also allow homeowners waiting for grant money to qualify for a three-year forbearance period, during which time they would not have to make mortgage payments.
State Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), one of the bill’s sponsors, said state “has not adequately or appropriately addressed the needs” of Sandy victims.
A Monmouth University poll released in October found 41 percent of residents affected by Sandy said they still need money to rebuild or elevate their storm-damaged homes.
The measure was supported by housing advocates who said it would give “breathing room” to homeowners left in the lurch while they await disaster recovery aid.
But a representative from the New Jersey Bankers Association told lawmakers at a hearing on the bill earlier this year that lenders “are getting forced to carry the burden the government has failed to do themselves.”