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N.J. rolls out new COVID relief program for homeowners facing foreclosure

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced a relief program for homeowners facing foreclosure or displacement because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The New Jersey Emergency Rescue Assistance program was developed by the Murphy administration using $325 million in federal aid from the American Rescue Plan.

Eligible homeowners can apply for up to $35,000, which can go towards late mortgage payments, taxes and homeowner’s insurance, interest; reinstatement assistance; and “other housing-related costs including, but not limited to escrow shortages, delinquent taxes, homeowner’s insurance payments, and payments to lienholders,” according to the program’s website.

Applicants can only apply for assistance for their primary residence. Second homes and investment properties are not included.

“This can help protect thousands of homeowners from foreclosures and neighborhoods from being impacted … free housing counseling will also be available to assist homeowners in applying for assistance,” Murphy said.

According to the program’s website, applicants must have experienced a coronavirus-related hardship beginning on Jan. 21, 2020. The funds will be made available as a forgivable subordinate loan.

Other requirements are also listed on the website.

Applications open on Feb. 8.