NJ Mortgage, property tax relief program coming amid COVID

NEW JERSEY – If you, like many others, have been financially impacted by the pandemic and are falling behind in mortgage and property tax payments, there is help out there.

New Jersey has introduced the Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program which will award up to $35,000 to eligible homeowners who have been unable to pay their housing bills due to loss of income due to COVID-19.

Application for the program opened on February 8.

The program uses $325.9 million from the federal Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF) and is expected to help thousands of families.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must demonstrate loss of income due to COVID-19. Their income cannot exceed 150% of the median income of the region where the property is located.

The property must be located in New Jersey and the applicant must “own and occupy” a qualifying principal residence of one to four units. Secondary residences are not eligible for the program.

Applicants must also be current on mortgage and property taxes as of January 2020.

“We are pleased to announce this new program that will reduce COVID-19-related housing insecurity for thousands of New Jersey families,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “ERMA is a powerful addition to our portfolio of measures to prevent foreclosures and help New Jersey homeowners stay in their homes.”

Eligible expenses under the program include mortgage payments, escrow shortages, unpaid property taxes, defaults, home energy services, and more.

Through this program, up to $35,000 will be provided to homeowners in the form of a three-year loan at 0% interest, with no monthly payments. The loan will be non-recourse, secured and registered, and will take a junior lien position on the home.

If the property is sold, refinanced or transferred, the funds must be repaid.
To access the app, visit www.njerma.com.

For details on program eligibility, Click here.

You can also contact (855) 647-7700 for assistance.

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