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NJ foreclosure, unemployment

Long-Term Unemployment: Is NJ Foreclosure Looming?

On Behalf of Veitengruber Law | Jul 20,2021

As New Jersey begins to open back up following the coronavirus epidemic and residents establish a new normal, a new issue is on the horizon. A new report released last month shows 1 in 5 New Jersey residents are at risk of foreclosure or eviction with 8.3% behind on mortgage payments. New Jersey, already one of the leading states in the country for foreclosures, could be facing a major housing crisis. Prolonged unemployment and rising housing costs have created anxiety about foreclosure. Here is what you need to know and how you can protect yourself from a NJ foreclosure.

The executive order issued in March 2020 putting a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions is still in place and will remain through the end of 2021. This means that those behind on their mortgage payments cannot be removed from their homes. However, since the courts have opened back up it is possible for lenders and landlords to begin legal proceedings against past-due accounts. So while you cannot be removed from your home during the moratorium, things can move quickly once it has lifted.

Long-term unemployment due to the national health crisis has exacerbated already high concerns over foreclosures. New Jersey's unemployment rate peaked during the pandemic in April 2020 at 16.4% and still hovers around 7.5% now according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average unemployment rate in NJ before the pandemic was 3.4%. Thankfully those facing long-term unemployment have some options when it comes to maintaining their housing.

1.    Call Your Lender

If you haven't already, reach out to your lender ASAP. They may have options in place to temporarily lower your monthly payments or provide forbearance for a period of time. If you have already utilized the programs your lender offers, see if they can provide an extension. If you were under a COVID-19 forbearance plan, you can request one additional 3-month extension for a conventional loan and two 3-month extensions for government backed loans (FHA, VA, USDA, etc.).

2.   Call a Government HELP Hotline

If you are worried about foreclosure, you can call 1-800-NJ-HOUSE to speak to a housing counselor directly. You can also check out this list to find other approved housing counselors. They may be able to provide some options before legal action is taken.

3.   Avoid Scams

Mortgage scams are rampant right now, with scammers preying on homeowners desperate to stay in their homes. If someone approaches you offering a quick fix in exchange for a fee, it is likely a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Be vigilant about giving out your personal information and make sure you are talking with an approved counselor from the above list before you divulge any details about your situation.

If after everything you are still unable to make your mortgage payments and foreclosure is looming, Veitengruber Law can help. We offer effective foreclosure defense strategies and legal alternatives to help you save your home and get back on your feet financially.


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1720 Highway 34 Suite 10 Wall Township, NJ 07727

Phone: (732) 894-4909

Fax: (732) 695-3917

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Phone: (609) 542-2339

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247 Main Street Metuchen, NJ 08840

Phone: (908) 386-4767

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