New Jersey Launches a $325 Million Program for Struggling Homeowners
The State of New Jersey will launch the $325 million Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA) on February 8th. ERMA is a federally funded program that will provide financial assistance to homeowners impacted by the Covid 19 crisis. It is administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). Eligible homeowners may receive up to $35,000.00 paid directly to mortgage services. The funds will be made available as a subordinate lien that is forgivable after a three-year loan term.
“Thousands of hardworking New Jersey families are struggling to keep a roof over their head, and this program will provide the necessary lifeline to avoid foreclosure and keep them in their homes,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.
According to their official site, ERMA funds can cover delinquent homeowner obligations including mortgage payment principal, interest, taxes and homeowner’s insurance; reinstatement assistance; and other housing-related costs including but not limited to escrow shortages, delinquent taxes, homeowner’s insurance payments, and payments to lienholders who have advanced these delinquent payments during the homeowner’s COVID-19 related hardship.
“This pandemic has taken an immense toll on homeowners as unemployment skyrocketed and many people were left with no tools to help pay their mortgages and property taxes,” Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said. “This program will serve as a much-needed lifeline to our residents who are struggling and will aid them in getting back on track to staying in their homes. No one should have to worry about keeping a roof over their head during this pandemic so having this program available is crucial.”
Who Is Eligible for the New Jersey Homeowner Assistance Fund
To be eligible, applicants, as well as their properties must meet certain eligibility requirements. Homeowners must be from New Jersey with a demonstrated COVID-19-related financial hardship occurring after January 20, 2020. They must own and occupy the property as their primary residence, and encompass a one-to-four unit property, which may be a detached house, condominium unit, or manufactured home on a foundation permanently affixed to real property. Second homes and investment properties are not included. Regarding their income, it must be below 150% of their Area Median Income (AMI).
If you are qualified, visit the Application Portal to apply (available in many languages). For more information, call (855) 647-7700 between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday or email the ERMA team at [email protected].