New Jersey Homekeeper Expected to Shut Down by December 2013

by Admin: Paula Hodges on November 28, 2013

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)  is said to be closing the doors on NJ Homekeeper approvals very soon – perhaps as early as this weekend.  No more help to struggling homeowners in New Jersey.  It’s over.  Kaput.

Some may be surprised.  I’m not.  I never understood why, with so many homeowners in trouble they expected this money to last for years.  Perhaps that was when they planned to NOT give out much of the money.  But then they got called on the carpet and had to make a change of plans.

So, according to unofficial numbers, $206,000,000 of the Hardest Hit Funds was allocated to homeowners.  And there’s about $53,400,000 remaining.  New Jersey was handed $300,500,000 by the Treasury.  After some basic addition and subtraction, it seems NJ Housing will claim over $41,000,000 in expenses.  It’s one of the most obnoxious things I’ve ever heard.

I can make it simpler. Let’s look at smaller numbers. For every $100,000 that NJHMFA gave to homeowners, their claim is it cost them a whopping $13,680. I assure you that if Bank of America incurred this kind of (pure administrative overhead) expense to originate mortgage loans, their doors would be closed. It is abominable and unconscionable that NJHMFA was permitted to make that kind of profit off the backs of homeowners. The overwhelming majority of that $13,680 was profit in their bank account.

Those New Jerseyans who got approved for this program and avoided foreclosure are a very lucky bunch of folks. But no one made out like a big fat stinking rat as did the program administrator. Worse than disgusting.


23 Legal Defenses To Foreclosure: How To Beat The Bank

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It seems Thomas Jefferson was quite smart and insightful.  He saw where we were headed in the banking business way back in the 1700′s.  The big banks have run havoc in America and there’s no stopping their terror.  Once anything or anyone rises to a point of epic power fueled by the greed that has overtaken and drugged our society, there is no turning back.  All those in power, whether it be political or private industry, have realized how greedy and gullible the next guy is and so everything and anything can be had for a price.  Folks, your government is for sale to the highest bidder – and that includes the courts and judges. 

One of the biggest government bums for sale is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who saw mortgage modifications as a backup bailout for the banksClick the link.  IT’S A MUST READ.

“….HAMP was not separate from the bailouts, it was part of them.  It squeezed a few  extra payments out of borrowers and then allowed banks to do with them whatever  they wanted.  It stretched out the foreclosure crisis, by design.  In fact, by the end of  this, HAMP may not help even the borrowers secure in permanent modifications.  Not only are the modifications of inferior quality, and not only have they led to high re-default rates already, but most of the permanent modifications are not permanent at all.”

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23 Legal Defenses To Foreclosure: How To Beat The Bank

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For those that have an FHA loan and have been let down by NJ Homekeeper, be aware that the criteria for qualification under HAMP for FHA has been heavily revised to permit many more homeowners to qualify for a loan mod.

It’s not simple at all trying to figure out if a homeowner qualifies so don’t trust your servicer to do the right thing.  Servicers are famous for doing everything wrong – if they do anything at all. These changes will no doubt rub them the wrong way since it will delay what they so want to do – foreclose and kick you out. Expect more delays with New Jersey foreclosures and other states for those with FHA loans.

Here are three of the most critical changes:

  1. The prior back-end max debt ratio of 55% has been eliminated.  There is no maximum back end.
  2. The 12 month max delinquency has been eliminated.  You can be 36 months behind or more so long as you meet other criteria.
  3. FHA-HAMP can now combine a loan mod with a Partial Claim. (If you don’t know what a Partial Claim is, then see the links below or visit the HUD website.)

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23 Legal Defenses To Foreclosure: How To Beat The Bank

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As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Florida Senator Bill Nelson pushed for a Federal investigation of Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund.  Senator Nelson called for the investigation because of hideous delays, questionable approvals and a low approval rate.   Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP, has agreed to investigate  the program.  A similar investigation is needed for NJ Homekeeper.

March 26, 2013 – article by Susan Taylor Martin,  Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer

Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for a federal investigation of Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund, a $1 billion mortgage assistance program that has denied aid to thousands of desperate homeowners while helping felons, tax scofflaws and people chronically in debt.

Nelson’s request was prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation that uncovered dozens of homeowners with questionable backgrounds getting aid.

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23 Legal Defenses To Foreclosure: How To Beat The Bank

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Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second-biggest U.S. lender, rewarded staff with cash bonuses and gift cards for meeting quotas tied to sending distressed homeowners into foreclosure, former employees said in court documents.

Mortgage workers falsified records and were told to delay U.S. loan-assistance applications by requesting paperwork that the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank had already received, according to statements from ex-employees filed last week in federal court in Boston. The lender improperly disqualified applicants to the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, according to a May 23 statement from Simone Gordon, a loss-mitigation specialist who left the company in 2012.

“We were regularly drilled that it was our job to maximize fees for the bank by fostering and extending delay of the HAMP modification process by any means we could,” Gordon said. Managers instructed staff to “delay modifications by telling homeowners who called in that their documents were ‘under review,’ when in fact, there had been no review,” she said.

Bank of America, which has spent more than $45 billion to settle claims tied to its 2008 takeover of Countrywide Financial Corp., is being sued by homeowners who didn’t receive permanent loan modifications after making payments under trial programs, according to court papers. Statements from seven former loan employees were included in a filing last week as part of plaintiffs’ attempt to gain class-action status. The lender has denied the allegations.  [Click here to read full post. Sorry, comments are closed…]

23 Legal Defenses To Foreclosure: How To Beat The Bank

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In Florida, this is exactly what is happening.  When Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund pays monies to the servicer for an approved homeowner, the servicer is paid for all legal fees and other costs incurred. I didn’t read where there is any limit as to the maximum fees and costs that will be reimbursed.

And who, if anyone, is policing this practice to be certain the scoundrels at the servicer actually incurred the alleged fees? Servicers are infamous for claiming excessive fees. Once a foreclosure is filed, the fees often become even more outrageous. It is doubtful that assessed fees are verified as legitimate.

Sandra Morales, a homeowner who was approved under the Florida HHF program guidelines, received over $17,000. But $4,600 of that amount was paid to her servicer for what they claimed were attorney fees.

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23 Legal Defenses To Foreclosure: How To Beat The Bank

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Beware: Is Safeguard Properties Illegally Breaking Into Foreclosed Homes and Stealing Property?

May 2, 2013

The stories abound: In Clawson, Mich., Nancy Cox returned home to find her possessions in the front yard, smashed with a sledgehammer, and a chalk drawing of a clown face on her garage with the tagline, “another job well done.” Mortgage servicers are very concerned about the status of your property when you fall behind [...]

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HMFA Not Alone in Receiving Outrageous Fee Income. Robo-Signing Consultants Were Paid $20k Per File, Totalling $2 Billion

April 29, 2013

In case you missed the news amongst all the hyperbole going on with the foreclosure nightmares, not long ago our Federal regulators concluded a $9.3 billion settlement with 13 of the largest mortgage banks for rampant robo-signing violations. Allegedly, the independent foreclosure review settlement was supposed to compensate homeowners for the following fraud and abuse [...]

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Was HAMP an Orchestrated Plan by the Government to Temporarily Appease Homeowners With the Ultimate Goal Being a Delayed Foreclosure?

April 21, 2013

Who here believes the Obama administration created HAMP with its primary objective being to save homeowners from foreclosure and help them get a more affordable mortgage payment?  Not me.  Same for many others.  Call it conspiracy theory if you like, but facts are facts. Before HAMP came into being, the country was expecting a barrage [...]

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New Jersey Homekeeper More About Political Advertising, NOT Helping Distressed Homeowners

March 19, 2013

Still, as of this very day, there are numerous complaints and posts online about homeowners experiencing unfathomable delays in getting a response to their Homekeeper (Hardest Hit Fund) applications from New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), the program administrator.  After 2 years of managing Homekeeper, NJHMFA still can’t get the job done. There [...]

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Compare New Jersey Homekeeper’s Lack of Success to Other State Programs

February 25, 2012

Thanks to one of our blog followers, we want to share the progress of New Jersey Homekeeper when compared to what has happened with program operations in other states.  Homekeeper is funded with Federal money from the Hardest Hit Fund. Several states participate. State by State Comparison of Hardest Hit Program Outcomes Using Results as [...]

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NJ Homekeeper Approves Only 117 Homeowners During the First 3 Months of 2012 and Denied 196

May 3, 2012

NJ Homekeeper and NJHMFA continued on its sad path of hardly working during the 1st quarter of 2012.  As the most recent Performance Report for the 1st quarter of 2012 indicates, despite their outrageous budget of $38,000,000, they only got around to approving 117 homeowner applicants for the entire quarter.  Of the total number of [...]

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NJHMFA Took 244 Days to Process NJ Homekeeper Applications in 1st Qtr 2012 – UP From 182 Days in Previous Report

May 26, 2012

NJHMFA reported in the 2012 first quarterly Performance Report that the median processing time for New Jersey Homekeeper applications was a deplorable 244 days. COUNT IT UP. THAT’S OVER 8 MONTHS!!! This “244 days” is a median number – meaning that half of the applications TOOK LONGER than 244 days.  In a program funded by [...]

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Are You Disappointed With HMFA’s Abusive Administration of NJ Homekeeper? Find Your Local Representatives Below and Report What You Know

July 15, 2012

If you applied for assistance through NJ Homekeeper, then you must be disgusted and appalled at the slow or complete lack of response from NJHMFA about your application. I know I sound like a broken record, but it is incomprehensible that the State would advertise a program to save people’s home from foreclosure and then [...]

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A Spokeswoman From NJ Homekeeper Failed to Address Why Only 171 Homeowners Had Been Approved

July 25, 2012

The attempt to bailout struggling homeowners through the use of TARP and the Hardest Hit Fund is a continued failure in most states. New Jersey leads the pack with its pathetic Homekeeper program which has somehow only managed to believe that 171 homeowners qualified as of the end of the 1st quarter 2012. This is [...]

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NJ Housing Tells Huff Post They Have Helped 750 Families Through Homekeeper

July 29, 2012

This is a quick follow up to my post on July 25, 2012 where I remarked that according to The Huffington Post, NJ Homekeeper had no comment on why the program was doing so poorly.  But the tide has changed in a few short days since NJ Housing has chosen to respond to Huff Post. [...]

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Treasury Officials Report New Jersey Has Spent MORE on Homekeeper Administrative Costs Than on Borrower Assistance

August 3, 2012

Back in March, I wrote a post about the absurdity of the expenses NJHMFA allocated to Homekeeper.  You can see their expense projections here.  It seemed clear from the beginning the expenses were astronomical.  And now comes the GAO report. While applicants have been desperately waiting for a response to their application for 8 months [...]

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Ready! Fire! Aim! Denied! NJHMFA Denies a Whopping 1502 Homekeeper Applicants During 2nd Quarter 2012

August 9, 2012

NJHMFA really pulled the rug from under Homekeeper applicants in the 2nd quarter 2012 with a whopping 1,502 applicants told to get lost, denied, no bananas.  They denied more homeowners during this one quarter than the total number of applicants reviewed since program inception. I guess that’s a good way to decrease your backlog.  Did [...]

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California Woman Gets One Year Jail Time for Filing False Documents to Delay Foreclosure; But Big Mortgage Servicers Get to Steal Homes

August 26, 2012

You only need to read this short post to completely see the hypocrisy in America when it comes to justice for homeowners.  For there is no fairness and no true justice in America against the wrongs and evils committed by big mortgage corporations.  Only the little guy gets punished. Here’s the story. A California judge [...]

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Finally, NJ Dept of Community Affairs Admits it Doesn’t Like Homekeeper Results So Far

September 3, 2012

Despite the fact that New Jersey homeowners are more in need of mortgage assistance than those in most states, NJ Homekeeper has failed to come to the aid of the vast majority who have sought assistance. New Jersey had $300 million available from TARP to help the unemployed save their homes from foreclosure. To date, [...]

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Senator Lesniak Prompts Christie To Do More About New Jersey’s Expanding Foreclosure Problem

September 20, 2012

The latest data in foreclosure news shows New Jersey moving ahead of Nevada in the number of mortgage defaults. Only Florida has more serious defaults. This news prompted Senator Raymond J. Lesniak to urge the Christie administration to increase their effort to help people facing foreclosure. Lesniak made it clear New Jersey has not done [...]

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Listen to the Imbecilic Response from Gov Christie When Eyewitness News Asked About NJ Homekeeper at Press Conference

September 25, 2012

At a press conference today, Jim Hoffer, an Eyewitness News investigative reporter, questioned Governor Christie about why New Jersey Homekeeper was making so little progress. Governor Christie, with his customary smug, “I don’t give a _ _ _ _” attitude replied, ” “The courts placed a moratorium on foreclosures so our policy was put on [...]

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Senators Lautenberg and Menendez Call New Jersey’s Failure to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure via Homekeeper Unconscionable

October 1, 2012

U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg have once again directed a letter to the Director at HMFA seeking information and a solution to the failure of New Jersey Homekeeper to disseminate funds to the vast majority of applicants seeking help with their delinquent mortgages. In comparing the states, the Senators expressed much concern [...]

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SENATE Bill No. 2202 – Requires NJHMFA to Respond to Applicants Within 90 Days and Expend Homekeeper Funds

October 3, 2012

Finally, the message has gotten through about the abhorrent administration of New Jersey Homekeeper by NJ Housing (NJHMFA).  Since the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) announced the program and New Jersey became a participant, NJHMFA has treated this program like someone would treat a wicked stepmom.  Occasionally throwing out a small bone to the very fortunate [...]

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Fannie Mae Makes it Mandatory for Servicers to Accept HHF Funds on Behalf of Borrowers

October 22, 2012

If you are a New Jersey resident with a Fannie Mae loan, lost your job, and need help to keep your mortgage current or bring it current, then NJ Homekeeper might come to your rescue quicker than if you have a VA, FHA or Freddie Mac Loan. Fannie Mae now requires all its servicers to [...]

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Go to The Committee Hearing on October 24 and Voice Your Experience With NJ Homekeeper

October 23, 2012

On Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 10 a.m., the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee will meet jointly to receive testimony on issues relating to HMFA and the NJ HomeKeeper Program. Click to read the hearing announcement. The meeting is open to the public. If you want [...]

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NJ Dept of Community Affairs Announce Changes to Homekeeper Eligibility Criteria

October 30, 2012

Following all the recent negative publicity about New Jersey Homekeeper that was well deserved, improvements to the program have been announced. Homekeeper, launched in May 2011 with $300 million in TARP funds, was supposed to provide financial assistance to homeowners who had been making timely mortgage payments but who were now at risk of losing [...]

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NJ Homekeeper Now Accepting Appeals From Homeowners in Light of Changed Guidelines

November 23, 2012

A visit to the newly revised New Jersey Homekeeper web site reveals new information about appealing your Homekeeper denial after the recent change in the guidelines. The way I read it is that anyone who was denied based on criteria that has changed since their denial may submit an appeal.  Homekeeper eligibility criteria have been [...]

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Chris Christie Vetoes Senate Bill S2202 – Rejects Improvements to New Jersey Homekeeper

February 1, 2013

Despite all the negative press surrounding the many failures of New Jersey Homekeeper in late 2012, Governor Christie continues on the path of resisting and denying help for struggling New Jersey homeowners using funds from the Hardest Hit Fund. Recently, the Governor vetoed a bill that would require Homekeeper to respond to applications and to [...]

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It’s Official: Homekeeper Will Expand to Help More Than the Unemployed and Underemployed

February 13, 2013

As mentioned in a prior post, somehow New Jersey Homekeeper will be accepting applications from distressed homeowners who are neither unemployed nor underemployed. Commissioner Constable of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs said recently that: “….they will be expanding the program even further, branching out beyond the unemployed and underemployed to include those in [...]

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