State-run Program May Stave Off Mortgage Payment Problems

By Barbara PeroneHouse

You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out that zero unemployment benefits plus extended unemployment may equal foreclosure.

If you can no longer afford to pay your mortgage due to unemployment, underemployment, or lack of business while self employed, you may be eligible to apply for a state-run mortgage assistance program.

The New Jersey Home Keeper Program (NJHKP) offers state homeowners up to $48,000 in zero interest, deferred payment, forgivable second mortgage loans for up-to 24 months.

Once accepted into the program, qualified homeowners can use the money to pay for current mortgage payments (including principal, interest, and taxes) or back payments (arrears) or both.

To qualify, you have to be delinquent in your mortgage payments or become delinquent within 90 days of the filing of the NJHKP loan application and you must not be in the process of filing bankruptcy proceedings.

In addition, your bank/mortgage company has to enroll in the program and you must have very few available savings, or financial resources, that equal no more than nine months worth of your mortgage payments.

Furthermore, your home must be your primary residence that is either:

• a one-unit residential property
• a two-unit residential property
• an attached, or detached, house
• a condominium or manufactured house built on a permanent foundation on a real property and secured by a mortgage lien

To apply for assistance, visit or call 1.877.496.4951.

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