Hudson County, Waterfront Project team up to help homeowners struggling with mortgages

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The Hudson County government is teaming up with The Waterfront Project, a non-profit group, to create a foreclosure prevention program to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the Waterfront Project at an event in 2019. Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“If a homeowner is having difficulty making their mortgage payments, I encourage them to contact the Foreclosure Prevention Project as soon as possible, you do not have to go through this process alone,” Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise said in a statement.

“The County of Hudson wants you to get the help that you need.”

DeGise further stated that the program is open to all Hudson County homeowners.

The Foreclosure Prevention Project will provide free, confidential foreclosure prevention counseling by an experienced housing counselor, certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“It’s my job to help you understand your options and, in many cases, help you renegotiate the terms of your mortgage, making it more affordable. If your circumstances do not allow for you to remain in your home, I can identify programs that will help you relocate and transition into new housing,” Paige explained.

Additionally, a local foreclosure registry has been created that will give all 12 Hudson County municipalities the ability to participate, according to WFP Executive Director Rebecca Symes.

“Local ordinances require banks and mortgagees to register as they initiate foreclosure proceedings. In addition to registering, they must also pay a fee. Both requirements will be central to our Foreclosure Prevention Project’s success,“ she said.

“By knowing which homeowners are in distress through the registration, The Waterfront Project can affirmatively reach out to them to offer our assistance. And, the fee the banks and mortgagees pay to register helps to mitigate the costs and impacts of foreclosures on our local communities.”

Symes also noted that local legislation has already been approved in Jersey City, Guttenberg, West New York, Harrison and Secaucus to get on board with the program.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed Executive Order 106 placing a moratorium on removals due to foreclosures until two months after he declares an end to the COVID-19 public health.

While homeowners cannot be removed from their homes during this emergency, even if a final judgment of foreclosure has been entered and a sheriff’s sale has taken place. However, court proceedings related to foreclosures are not suspended.

Therefore, homeowners who are in distress should not ignore communications from your mortgage company or the court.

Homeowners can schedule an appointment with the Foreclosure Prevention Project at The Waterfront Project by calling (551) 256-7578 or emailing wpaige@thewaterfrontproject.gov.