N.J. advances plan to give mortgage break to those still rebuilding from Sandy

Construction workers labor on a beachfront home in Bay Head

Construction workers labor on a beachfront home in Bay Head

A legislative plan to suspend mortgage and interest payments for two years for some New Jersey victims of Superstorm Sandy is moving forward.

Sen. Jennifer Beck said the measure would help about 3,200 Sandy victims in the state grant program as they continue to rebuild or elevate their homes.

“This provides them with a vehicle to get forbearance on their mortgage, so that while they are floating a rent and a mortgage, they can make it through financially until they can move back home,” said Beck, R-Monmouth.

That would be better than putting those homeowners in foreclosure, said Arnold Cohen with the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.

“Why not allow that person to go to the courts and have a period of time in which they’ll continue to pay their taxes and continue to pay all the utilities and all the costs for maintaining their property, but not have to pay that mortgage while getting themselves together,” he asked.

Cohen said it’s a scar on the state that, four years after the storm, thousands of residents whose property was damaged still aren’t back home.

The legislation would require them to pay their taxes and costs of maintaining their property, but give them a break on their mortgage while they continue to work to get their lives back together, he said.

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