Many New Jersey residents suffered severe and in some cases irreparable damage to their homes during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Nonetheless, many are still required to pay their mortgages even as they are working to rebuild their homes.

Now, thanks to recently-enacted legislation, New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs has announced a mortgage forbearance program. Some homeowners whose homes were damaged in the storm can suspend their mortgage payments for over two years. Those payments will be added on to their loans at the end of the loan’s term.

The program is the result of efforts by housing advocates and Sandy victims who have been fighting to help homeowners fight off foreclosures on properties devastated by the storm. Homeowners are still responsible for paying property taxes and insurance on the home, and for maintaining the property, during the forbearance period.

New Jersey residents have through the end of May to apply for the program at www.nj.gov/dca/. There are a number of criteria that storm-impacted homeowners must meet:

— They must have received some form of financial aid for storm-related damage.

— The home must be their primary residence.

— They must have a mortgage on that home

— There must be work that still needs to be done on that home.

The potential of foreclosure is a frightening one for anyone. While this program helps those who suffered devastating losses in Hurricane Sandy, homeowners face foreclosure for all sorts of reasons. It’s important to explore all of your options for preventing the loss of your home. An experienced New Jersey attorney can provide guidance and support.

Source: NJ.com, “Help on the way for Sandy victims struggling to fend off foreclosure,” MaryAnn Spoto, March 30, 2017