SENATE, No. 1602

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED APRIL 7, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator RONALD L. RICE

District 28 (Essex)

Senator JOHN A. GIRGENTI

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires DCA to provide Internet resources for homeowner assistance programs and makes an appropriation.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning homeowner assistance programs, supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes and making an appropriation.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.  New Jersey is experiencing an alarming increase in the number of delinquencies and foreclosures on home mortgages.

     b.  In many cases, these delinquencies and foreclosures are clustered in certain areas of the State, a phenomenon that concentrates and increases the costs and ill effects that foreclosures bring to a neighborhood.

     c.  There are various federal, State, county, private for-profit, and private not-for-profit entities that currently provide refinancing assistance, mortgage counseling, debt adjustment and credit counseling, homelessness prevention programs, guidance on avoiding predatory lending and misleading products, legal assistance, and other aid for homeowners who are experiencing difficulties with their home mortgage.

     d.  There appears to be no single resource that homeowners and counselors can access to research the range of homeowner assistance programs.

     The Legislature therefore determines that the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, which has been deemed responsible for building neighborhoods and promoting economic development through housing and other supportive services, shall be charged with assisting existing homeowners by establishing and maintaining a website which will provide a single central source for information on the resources available to New Jersey homeowners to address their mortgage problems.

 

     2.  a.  The Department of Community Affairs shall establish, maintain, and regularly update a website that will provide homeowners and other interested parties with answers to frequently asked questions about refinancing and curing mortgage defaults.  The website shall list, describe, and provide a website link to various federal, State, local, for-profit, and non-profit organizations that provide services or guidance related to mortgage and credit problems. 

     b.  The department shall publicly promote this website through public access advertising and other available outlets.

     c.  The department may apply for and accept grants from the federal government, or any agency thereof, or grants, gifts or other contributions from any foundation, corporation, association or individual, and complying with the terms, conditions and limitations thereof, for the purpose of financing and promoting the homeowner assistance website, and may partner with the federal government, or any agency thereof, or any foundation, corporation, association or individual, to develop, maintain, and update the website.

 

     3.  There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Community Affairs the sum of $50,000 to effectuate the provisions of this act.

 

     4.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month next following enactment, but the Commissioner of Community Affairs may take such anticipatory action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to establish, maintain, and regularly update a website that will provide homeowners and other interested parties with answers to frequently asked questions about refinancing and curing mortgage defaults and list, describe, and provide a website link to various federal, State, local, for-profit, and non-profit organizations that provide services or guidance related to mortgage and credit problems.

     The bill permits DCA to publicly promote the homeowner assistance program website through public access advertising and other available outlets, and may apply for and accept grants from the federal government, or any agency thereof, or grants, gifts or other contributions from any foundation, corporation, association or individual, and complying with the terms, conditions and limitations thereof, for the purpose of financing and promoting the website, and may partner with the federal government, or any agency thereof, or any foundation, corporation, association or individual, to develop, maintain, and update the website.

     Finally, the bill appropriates $50,000 from the General Fund to DCA to effectuate the provisions of this act.