*** WEDNESDAY REMINDER *** Assembly Panels to Hold Wednesday Hearing on Christie Failure to Help More New Jersey Families Facing Foreclosure

DCA Commissioner, Homeowners & Housing Advocates to Testify
Bills to Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Also on Tap

(TRENTON) – Two Assembly committees will meet jointly on Wednesday to examine the Christie administration’s failure to help more families facing foreclosure, with legislation to help New Jersey homeowners facing foreclosure also to be considered.
New Jersey has the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate, but questions have been raised about the inability of the Christie administration to help out more families with $300 million in federal foreclosure aid given to the state.
The Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee will meet jointly on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in Committee Room 11 on the 4th floor of the State House Annex in Trenton.
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, homeowners and housing advocates and counselors are expected to testify as the committees receive testimony on issues relating to the NJ HomeKeeper Program, including the program’s poor record in providing financial assistance to New Jersey homeowners in danger of foreclosure and the extent to which it has used the $300 million received from the U.S. Treasury’s “Hardest Hit Fund.”
The NJ HomeKeeper Program is administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, which is established under the Department of Community Affairs.
“Gov. Christie may not want to be held accountable for failing to help New Jersey families facing foreclosure, but he cannot hide from his failure to help New Jersey families at risk of losing their homes,” said Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), who chairs the housing panel. “The administration’s approach is clearly not working. New Jersey’s middle-class and poor deserve answers and help.”
“We need to get answers and get this program moving for the benefit of struggling New Jersey families,” said Deputy Speaker Gary Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen), who chairs the financial institutions and insurance panel. “Helping families affected by the Great Recession must be among the highest priorities of the General Assembly. I remain concerned about his administration’s slow action in helping as many affected homeowners as possible.”
At the conclusion of the joint meeting, the following bills will be considered by the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee:

A-3372
Benson Requires HMFA to expand participation in the NJ HomeKeeper Program.
A-3396
Watson Coleman Codifies the Judiciary’s Foreclosure Mediation Program; dedicates monies from foreclosure filing fees and fines.
A-3413
Green Establishes the “New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act.”

Audio of Wednesday’s hearing will be streamed live at:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp