The State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) recently announced the reopening of the HomeKeeper program to help struggling residents avoid foreclosure. The program, which first launched under the same name in 2011, is being reinstated with $115 million in new funding from federal Hardest Hit Funds (HHF).
In Atlantic City, HomeKeeper is being offered at a time when it’s especially needed. On October 10th, the Trump Taj Mahal officially closed its doors, leaving nearly 3,000 people without jobs and vulnerable to financial hardships.
How the Program Works
The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program offers up to $48,000 in assistance to help families avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.
Homeowners may be eligible for the program if they’re facing a job loss, reduced income or other hardships, including those related to a divorce, disability or death.
Additionally, this re-launched HomeKeeper can now help individuals with a hardship due to medical expenses.
How it’s Different from HomeSaver
In addition to HomeKeeper, New Jersey and NJHMFA are also offering HomeSaver, another mortgage help program that launched in 2015. How are they different?
- HomeKeeper offers up to $48,000 in assistance and can be applied to arrears, monthly mortgage payments (for up to 12 months) or both, depending on the needs of the homeowner
- HomeSaver is primary geared for homeowners who are underwater with their mortgage. The program offers up to $50,000 in assistance and can be applied to a mortgage principal or arrears
- Unlike HomeKeeper, homeowners don’t have to be delinquent to qualify for HomeSaver
HomeKeeper has broader requirements, so more homeowners are expected to qualify for it
Seeking Reputable Mortgage Help
Both programs must be applied for through an accredited HUD-certified housing counseling agency, such as Clarifi. The nonprofit has offices in Atlantic, Burlington and Camden Counties; they also opened an office directly in Atlantic City Hall in June of this year.
“Our certified counselors will work with homeowners to see which program they may be eligible for and help them submit a thorough and complete application, all at no cost,” says Stephanie Bittner, New Jersey Outreach Manager for Clarifi. “We can also help people look at other options to stay in their homes.”
Clarifi also stresses that free help is available to help struggling homeowners.
“You should never have to pay for help to save your home,” adds Bittner.
Make a Free Appointment Today
You can schedule a free appointment with a HUD-certified housing counselor by clicking below or calling 800-989-2227.