News and Updates

N.J. nonprofit lender buys hundreds of troubled mortgages in 9 counties hard hit by Sandy

A New Brunswick-based nonprofit lender is buying hundreds of troubled mortgages in the nine counties most impacted by Hurricane Sandy with the goal of keeping residents in their homes and revitalizing vacant properties.

The Federal Housing Administration and the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force announced today the sale of $180 million in defaulted loans to New Jersey Community Capital, which provides financing and investment to preserve and create affordable housing in under-served communities.

Wayne Meyer, the president of New Jersey Community Capital, said the group plans to work with borrowers to reduce the principal balance on those loans, as well as ensure the homeowner can afford to pay the modified mortgage.

Of the 651 mortgages included in the sale, Meyer said the loans are roughly $270,000 on average, while the market values of those properties are about $180,000. "Our goal is to bring that mortgage down to $180,000," Meyer said.

Meyer also said some of the properties included in the sale are already vacant or have been damaged by the storm. For those homes, he said, the group sees an opportunity to stabilize certain neighborhoods and increase the supply of housing in hard-hit communities.

The program is outlined in one of the 69 recommendations the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force included in the recovery strategy it released to the public last month.

Shaun Donovan, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the chair of the rebuilding task force, said in a statement that "this sale will give families a desperately needed fresh start — a chance to stay in their homes, take steps to protect themselves from future storms and remain in the communities many have lived in for decades."

The sale includes 76 mortgage loans from Atlantic County, 38 in Bergen County, 13 in Cape May County, 154 in Essex County, 47 in Hudson County, 62 in Middlesex County, 62 in Monmouth County, 99 in Ocean County and 100 in Union County.

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