Keeping a Roof Over Your Head
Losing your job has no doubt changed your ability to manage your housing costs. If you are now among the many thousands of New Jersey residents who have lost their unemployment benefits, the challenge to make ends meet has become increasingly difficult. Whether you are trying to handle a monthly mortgage payment or monthly rent, these are particularly difficult times for you and your family.
If you are facing foreclosure, there are resources available that will help you find a solution.
Everyday people who work in various agencies and organizations throughout the state talk with folks in your situation. Here is some basic information to get you started; important fact sheets to give you the details you need to help yourself; web links and phone numbers so that you can learn more about state and local programs and resources.
Read more about foreclosure.
Foreclosure Prevention Counseling
- Foreclosure Prevention CounselingOnline and telephone counseling are available through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. This non-profit organization is dedicated to helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. Their toll-free Homeowner's HOPE Hotline is staffed with trained counselors and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach them by phone at 888.995.HOPE (888-995-4673).
- Free or low-cost advice from housing counseling agencies that have been sponsored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is available in our state. Here is a list of HUD Approved Counselors. This list is updated frequently and provides you with all HUD-certified counselors across the state of New Jersey.
We list additional information and resources relating to foreclosure prevention here.
Mortgage Refinancing Options
- The Homeownership Preservation Foundation also helps homeowners access credit and loan counseling and secure temporary assistance. As mentioned above, this non-profit organization is dedicated to helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. Their toll-free Homeowner's HOPE Hotline is staffed with trained counselors and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach them by phone at 888.995.HOPE (888-995-4673).
- Mortgage refinance programs are available through the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) This national non-profit community advocacy and housing services organization offers free counseling and will take you through the refinancing process. You can learn more and start the online application by clicking here.
- Homelessness Prevention Program - Provides limited financial assistance to low- and moderate-income tenants and homeowners in imminent danger of eviction or foreclosure due to temporary financial problems beyond their control. Funds are used to disburse payments in the forms of loans and grants to landlords and mortgage companies on behalf of eligible households in danger of homelessness. For additional information, call 866-889-6270. HPP Program Contacts
- Download Foreclosure Fast Facts from the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.
New Jersey Housing Resource Center provides an online tool for finding and listing affordable housing, helping people with disabilities find housing options and obtaining housing information and links. It's FREE, anonymous and continuously updated. Learn More. Find other housing-related information here.
Social Service for the Homeless
The Social Service for the Homeless (SSH) program provides assistance to New Jersey residents who are at risk of homelessness, but are ineligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare, General Assistance welfare or Supplemental Security Income. If you are eligible for this program, SSH may pay for emergency food or shelter for a limited time and may also provide money for rent, mortgage, utility, and security deposit assistance.
Local assistance is available 24 hours a day. Find your area's hotline number.
Assistance Programs for Homeowners
When Homes are in Need of Repair
If your home is in need of repair, you may be eligible for help through the Refinance Rehabilitation Program. This program was created to assist current homeowners by refinancing the existing mortgage. A portion of the refinancing must be used for rehabilitation of the house. Learn more. For further information call 800.NJ.HOUSE (800.654.6873).
Mortgage Assistance for Military Personnel
Mortgage payment relief and protection from foreclosure are provided to active military personnel and reservists through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). To be eligible for this program you must have had mortgage commitments before enlisting or being called to active duty. Reservists, guardsmen, and other eligible servicemembers should contact their lenders and other creditors and provide documentation that they have been called to active duty and are eligible for certain relief under the SCRA.
Servicemembers who have questions about the SCRA or the protections that they may be entitled to may contact their unit judge advocate or installation legal assistance officer. Dependents of servicemembers can also contact or visit local military legal assistance offices where they reside. Read answers to commonly asked questions for Military families from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) here.
Learn more about the programs and services provided through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) here.
Services Once the Foreclosure Process Has Begun
Legal Aid By dialing a toll-free number, 1-888-LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529), callers can access a statewide legal hotline which provides legal information, advice, and referral to low-income residents of New Jersey with civil legal problems (criminal cases are referred). This service is provided at no charge but applicants must be financially eligible to qualify. The hotline handles all cases over the telephone and does not provide ongoing legal representation. The hotline is open from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You may also be able to find answers to your legal problems on their self-help website.
Protection for Renters When Landlords Face Foreclosure
Residential tenants in New Jersey cannot be evicted solely because the property where they live is in foreclosure or has been foreclosed. The law protects tenants against eviction and provides some protection from utilities being shut-off. To learn more, call the New Jersey Tenants’ Organization at 201-342-3775 or the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, Office of Citizen Relations at 609-826-5070. Read the Toolkit for Tenants Living in Foreclosed Properties.
The New Jersey Tenants Organization (NJTO) is the oldest, largest statewide tenant membership organization in the United States. To learn more you may contact them at NJTO, 389 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601; Telephone: 201-342-3775; Fax: 201-342-3776; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit their website.
Lawyer Referral Services
The County Bar Associations located throughout New Jersey offer lawyer referral services to the public. Generally, these services will set you up with a qualified lawyer who specializes in your area of legal need, who will conduct an initial assessment with you for a small fee. Most County Bar Association lawyer referral services are not free.
Visit the NJ State Bar Association for a list of County Bar Associations. Locate your county of residence and contact the appropriate service. Do not contact referral services that are outside of your local county.
If you are Homeless
There are shelters located in every county in our state. Call 2-1-1 to find out more about your local resources.
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