INTRODUCING THE HOMEKEEPER PROGRAM: IT’S ALMOST LIKE GETTING FREE MONEY WHILE YOU SAVE YOUR HOME
The federal government has given New Jersey about $100 million to help homeowners save their home from foreclosure. If you are behind in your mortgage payments and you have a legitimate hardship that has occurred within the last 3 years, you could be an excellent candidate for this program.
Would You Turn Down an Offer for a Free $48,000 Gift From the Generous State of New Jersey?The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program can pay up to $48,000 to catch up on mortgage arrears and can also pay future mortgage payments for you over the next 12 months.
The best way to illustrate this is by giving you a specific example.
Let's assume you are $30,000 behind on your mortgage payments and your mortgage payments are $1,000 per month. If you qualify for the HomeKeeper Program, here is what will happen:
1. The State of New Jersey will pay $30,000 to your mortgage company.
2. This means that you are no longer behind on your mortgage, so any foreclosure against you will automatically stop.
3. If you can demonstrate that you cannot pay your mortgage for the next 12 months, New Jersey will pay $1,000 per month for the next 12 months.
4. In this example, New Jersey has paid the mortgage company a total of $42,000.
5. If your mortgage payments were $1,500 a month, the State of New Jersey would have paid a total of $18,000 for your mortgage payment over those 12 months, and they would have paid a total of $48,000 to the mortgage company.
6. If your mortgage payment was $2,000 a month, the State of New Jersey would only pay your mortgage payment for 9 months, totaling $18,000. The reason they would stop at 9 months is because they cannot pay more than a total of $48,000, and since they have already paid $30,000 towards your arrears, there is only $18,000 left that they can use to pay towards your future mortgage payments.
Will You Ever Have to Pay the Money Back?The next big question is whether you have to pay any of this money back to the State of New Jersey. The best answer is "maybe, but hopefully not". It is a little bit complicated, but the bottom line is, if you handle it correctly you may not be required to pay anything at all back to the State of New Jersey. It's like getting free money.
Ideally, the State wants you to continue living in your home for the next ten years, and at that point all of the debt will be forgiven. If you sell your property within five years, and you come away with a lot of money from the sale, you might have to pay all of the money back.
If you sell your property between five and ten years after you get the money, you might have to pay a percentage of the money back. There is a formula, sort of like a sliding scale. For example, if you sell your home after six years, you might have to pay back up to 80% of the money. If you sell it after nine years, you might have to only pay back 20% of the money. And in you sell your home after ten years, well at that point your debt is totally forgiven.
So if you do it right, it is like getting free money from the State of New Jersey, plus you save your home from foreclosure. It usually does not get much better than that.
Another variation of the HomeKeeper Program was available about 2 to 3 years ago, but it quickly ran out of money. Don't let them run out of money this time, without you getting your fair share
THE TIME TO ACT, if you want to seize this opportunity, IS NOW. I have been an attorney since 1973, That's 44 years. I want you to know that you can apply for this program without an attorney, but keep in mind that the stakes are high. We are dealing with the possibility of getting $48,000 in benefits and saving your home from foreclosure versus being denied all of that money and possibly losing your home.
What Would Prevent You From Getting Into the HomeKeeper Program?You need to know that not everyone can get into the HomeKeeper Program. There are a few things that would prevent you from getting into the program.
1) If you own another property besides your home, you are automatically excluded from the program.
2) If you are in an active bankruptcy, you are excluded from the program.
3) If, however, you had a previous bankruptcy and it is done, you can apply for the program.
4) If you are presently in an active chapter 7 or chapter 13, you should be able to apply for the program once your bankruptcy is dismissed or discharged.
5) If you have been accepted into the program, you are then allowed to file bankruptcy.
You must generally be able to show a personal hardship that you (or possibly a close family member) has sustained in the last three years. Examples of hardships that would normally qualify for the HomeKeeper Program are financial losses due to layoffs, loss of job or under-employment, illness, sickness, death in the family, injuries from accidents, disability or medical problems of another family member, matrimonial problems, legal problems, unexpected and unanticipated expenses that cause you serious financial problems, and any other reasonable hardship.
What Should You Do If You Are Interested In The HomeKeeper Program?This program works through a state agency. You can do this with the help of an attorney of your choice, or you can call one of the state agencies involved, and they will tell you what documents you need to complete and provide. They can mail you or email you a 19 page application form that will also require you to provide some of your financial records, like proof of income and tax returns.
I have been using one particular agency for my clients. The people in that agency really care, and seem to be willing to go overboard to help people get the money from the State.
I personally deal with the head man, the Director. His name is Russell, and you can reach him at (609) 390-9652, extension 3110. If you can't get Russell, you can contact one of his great assistants, either Susan at extension 3109, or Bruce at extension 3130.
We wish you the best, and hope that the State of New Jersey can work you into the HomeKeeper Program so that you can save your home from foreclosure.