ReStart has helped over 1,500 families avoid foreclosure since 2012.
New Jersey Community Capital launched the ReStart model in December of 2012 as an innovative response to the foreclosure crisis that includes the bulk purchase and modification of nonperforming mortgages. By partnering with local counseling agencies in diverse markets, ReStart provides distressed homeowners with one-on-one assistance applying for mortgage modifications that often include significant principal reduction, ensuring homeowners are financially prepared to maintain ownership as they enter a newly modified mortgage they can afford. Since the program was launched, ReStart has worked in 13 states and has helped more than 1,500 homeowners avoid foreclosure through affordable mortgage modification, loan payoff, short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
While the ReStart program’s primary goal is to achieve positive outcomes and a stronger long-term financial situation for 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. One key way NJCC achieves this is by selling properties acquired via the program to local community developers to restore as affordable housing, thereby reducing the amount of time properties sit vacant and creating or restoring hundreds of affordable homes.
A National Model
The ReStart program serves as a national model for revitalizing distressed communities struggling with foreclosures. This unique, socially motivated initiative helps maintain homeownership, reduce foreclosures, and minimize the impacts of foreclosed properties without heavy reliance on public subsidy. While public investment can increase the program’s ability to reach those in the most need, the program is also designed to be self-sustaining due to its ability to cover up-front costs and repay investors through the future sale of reperforming mortgage loans or acquired properties.