ReStart: Home Preservation Program

ReStart is New Jersey Community Capital's response to the foreclosure crisis: a groundbreaking program that acquires pools of underwater mortgages and provides homeowners with principal reductions and one-on-one counseling to protect them from displacement.

NJCC launched the ReStart model in December of 2012 after purchasing 261 troubled mortgages through an FHA auction—125 in the Newark region and 136 in the Tampa region—at a deep discount. NJCC has partnered with local counseling agencies in each market to ensure that struggling homeowners are financially prepared to maintain ownership as they enter a newly-modified mortgage at a principal they can afford.

NJCC also disburses already-vacant properties acquired via the program to local community developers to restore as affordable housing. By keeping homeowners in their homes and turning around properties that have already become vacant, ReStart not only creates or restores hundreds of affordable homes but stabilizes their surrounding neighborhoods, counteracting the blight and socioeconomic decline that has plagued many high-foreclosure communities.

In September of 2013, NJCC launched ReStart the Shore, expanding its model by directly purchasing 517 underwater mortgages in the nine-county area of New Jersey that was impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Through ReStart the Shore, NJCC has stabilized communities facing the compounding problems of unstable housing and physical damage that resulted from the storm.

Stabilizing Communities

While the ReStart Program seeks to achieve positive outcomes and a stronger long-term financial situation for all participating families, the impacts of ReStart are also felt at the community level. ReStart has the potential to propel the stabilization of at-risk neighborhoods by reducing their foreclosure rates and reoccupying vacant properties as quickly as possible, which can elicit many positive neighborhood outcomes proven to be associated with a stabilizing housing market.

A National Model

The implementation of ReStart serves as a national model for revitalizing distressed communities and jumpstarting housing markets all across the United States. This unique, socially-motivated initiative helps to reduce principal balances for families in need without any upfront public subsidy. The program is designed to be self-sustaining due to its ability to cover upfront costs and repay investors through the future sale of reperforming mortgage loans.

Program Highlights

  • Purchased 761 severely delinquent mortgages in NJ and FL. Portfolios represent $137 Million in Unpaid Principal Balance
  • Reducing principal to keep families in their homes and incorporating one-on-one financial education with homeowners
  • Providing counseling services to 1,000+ struggling homeowners in additional delinquent pools
  • Preserving hundreds of homeownership opportunities and strengthening communities
  • Providing a national model for foreclosure recovery

" We need to develop practical and effective solutions like ReStart to keep people in their homes and help them achieve stable financial futures "

- Wayne T. Meyer, President, NJCC