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Program disburses federal funds to help prevent foreclosures

* State has disbursed more than two-thirds of its federal assistance

After a shaky start, New Jersey has disbursed more than two-thirds of the federal funds it received in 2010 as part of the Hardest Hit program to help prevent foreclosures, and will soon end the program.

The state Division of Consumer Affairs reported that it had distributed more than $206 million of the $300.5 million it received as one of the 18 states designated as Hardest Hit under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

New Jersey funneled the money into the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs’ NJ HomeKeeper, a foreclosure program that targets the unemployed.

The Division of Consumer Affairs confirmed Friday that it would stop accepting applications by today.

Tammori Petty, a spokeswoman for the agency, said $53.4 million remained to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The remainder of the money had been directed toward administrative and educational purposes.

Petty said the program had assisted 5,068 homeowners who were in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.

Since the program was launched in 2011, the agency received more than 12,200 applications. About 5,500 homeowners were denied aid for varying reasons, Petty said.

The agency recently capped the maximum assistance at $24,000, Petty said, “to be able to assist more homeowners.”

About 58 percent of those who got help were more than 90 days behind on their mortgage payments, said Petty.

Article source: http://www.northjersey.com/news/233901791_Program_disburses_federal_funds_to_help_prevent_foreclosures.html

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