On December 8, 2021, the New Jersey Courts Announced that Eligible NJ Homeowners Can Now Apply For Additional Stay of Sheriff’s Sale
The Supreme Court has authorized homeowners to request an additional stay for Sheriff’s Sales in residential foreclosures as long as they are eligible to receive relief from the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) and have already reached the maximum amount of 30-day stays. Following up on the November 19, 2021 notice on the resumption of issuance of writs of possession, this notice announces that new process to protect homeowners facing delinquency, default, or foreclosure due to missed mortgage payments resulting from hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds are intended to be available to owner-occupants of one- to four-unit residences who have incomes less than 150% of the Area Median Income.
HAF funds can be used
- To pay arrears and reinstate the current mortgage
- To assist homeowners in making their next four mortgage payments
- To pay non mortgage incidental costs such as taxes, homeowners insurance, assessments and municipality liens
- To pay a combination of arrears, mortgage payments, or incidental costs not to exceed $35,000
Should requirements be met, homeowners will be able to file a motion to suspend a Sheriff’s Sale until they have received a response to their HAF application. However, there are no formal applications available.
What is the Homeowner Assistance Fund?
The Homeowner Assistance Fund (“HAF”) was established by the American Rescue Plan of 2021 in order to aid homeowners who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has allocated $325.6 million of this funding to New Jersey, which will be distributed to eligible applicants via the NJHMFA’s ERMA program.
Who is Eligible and When Can I Apply?
HAF assistance is intended for homeowners that have suffered financial hardships due to COVID (such as loss of income) and have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.
As of January 11, 2022, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (“NJHMFA”) has received approval for their ERMA (“Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance”) program, which will allow for the distribution of HAF to qualified applicants.
While the precise eligibility requirements and application process for NJ homeowners have yet to be revealed, the program is expected to launch during the first quarter of 2022, so updates and further details should be arriving shortly.
If you have any questions about foreclosures, sheriff sales or are unable to wait for HAF aid and are in need of immediate assistance, contact the Law Office of Ira J. Metrick today.