(Union) – Assembly Democrats Joseph Cryan and Annette Quijano join Congressman Albio Sires in an effort to encourage President Obama to intervene in the nation’s mortgage crisis by issuing an executive order, directing the U.S. Department of Treasury to carry out the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) and keep families in their homes.
The Assembly members said the prompt distribution of funds would greatly help New Jersey homeowners and note the state’s second highest foreclosure inventory rate (7.2%) in the country.
“We know firsthand from the residents in our district the struggle many New Jersey homeowners are facing today,’ said Cryan (D-Union). ” Homeowners are working hard to maintain their part of the American Dream while struggling to hold onto their homes.
“The Hardest Hit Fund was established to directly support homeowners. Unfortunately, it has helped only a few of the many who need assistance. We hope the President would step in to move the process along. Give homeowners access to the funds they so desperately need.”
“Congressman Sires is right on point,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Homeowners in New Jersey and across the country need relief now.
“The funding is there and should be made to help ease the burden for as many homeowners who need it as possible. Helping people stay in their homes and, hopefully, regain a financial footing can only help to strengthen our economy.”
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) established the Hardest Hit Fund in 2010. This program, administered by the Treasury Department provides $7.6 billion to states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Through the Hardest Hit Fund, states are able to offer mortgage payment assistance, principal reduction, and funding to eliminate a homeowner’s second lien loans. However, now three years after the inception of this fund, only 9.8% of this promised funding has reached actual homeowners.
According to the most recent September 2012 data, more than half of the amounts drawn by states are being held by the Treasury Department as unspent cash-on-hand or used for administrative expenses.