New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy took aim Monday at a chronic problem that has plagued the Garden State for years: the foreclosure crisis.
The Democrat signed nine laws to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation foreclosure rate and speed up the often lengthy process of repossessing a home.
“These efforts, along with our other efforts to work with families to keep them in their homes, will help us move forward — and hopefully very soon — move steadily down the rankings of nationwide foreclosures,” Murphy said.
Under the laws, banks will have to complete foreclosures more quickly; the state will expand its mediation program, and foreclosed homes will go back on the market faster.
Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, D-Essex, said she hopes the new laws will help ease the burden on well-meaning homeowners caught in a bad situation.
“I’m thinking of someone very close to me who lost their house — after the recession, lost their job, lost their home — and they’re rebuilding their lives. But it’s very, very difficult,” she said.
The bills were written and passed through a largely bipartisan process, according to Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-Burlington.
“Every now and then, housing policy can become partisan. But I think each of us has recognized the grip of foreclosures and what they do to our communities — how they stagnate our economy and the true community way of life that we would all cherish,” Singleton said. “Everyone came together to find a solution to try and move this forward.”