A public education forum, “Foreclosure: Moving From Fear To Positive Action,” will be held on Tuesday, September 9 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Grace Lutheran Church, 2222 Vauxhall Road in Union.  The event is free and open to the public. 

The forum is designed to provide guidance to property owners fearing or facing foreclosure issues, and to help tenants in properties with foreclosure issues. Free parking is available and the facility is wheelchair accessible.  

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The program is presented by the Union County Human Relations Commission and Union County Foreclosure Task Force in cooperation with the New Jersey Public Defender’s Office of Dispute Settlement and the Union County Superior Court.

“Understandably, anyone who is fearing or facing foreclosure is anxious and scared,” stated Lenny Guarino, Co-Chair of the Union County Human Relations Commission. “They do not know how to save their homes or how to ask for help.  They also are prey to con artists and scams.  We want to let these residents know that they do not have to face this alone.  There are knowledgeable experts and free state and county resources available to them that can help them take positive actions and achieve the best possible outcome.”

“When you are facing foreclosure, it’s important to get reliable information that can help you make good decisions while avoiding hucksters and scam artists,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “If you are a property owner or tenant in foreclosure now, or if you are concerned that you are heading toward foreclosure, I encourage you to come to the public forum for reliable guidance.”

Created in 2008 by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the mission of the Union County Foreclosure Task Force is to share ideas and information and to coordinate action among various local entities working on foreclosure prevention and intervention.  Representatives of the Task Force include county and state government, community and advocacy groups, legal agencies, financial institutions, faith-based organizations and housing counseling agencies.  Resource information will be available for distribution.

Panelists include Elizabeth Hulse of the New Jersey Public Defender’s Office of Dispute Settlement, who will provide an overview of the New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation Program, which is designed to provide distressed homeowners with experienced advocates and neutral mediators to make sure that all possible ways of keeping their houses are explored with their banks. 

The New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation Program provides resources and referral information for distressed homeowners.

Attendees will also gain an understanding of foreclosure proceedings, the court mediation process, guidance on avoiding foreclosure scams, and details about resources available to those who are affected. 

Information on the rights of tenants living in foreclosed properties will also be shared.

Following the presentation, the panelists will gladly answer questions from the audience, and will be available briefly following the program to address individual concerns.

Pre-registration is not required.  For more information regarding the forum, contact the Union County Human Relations Commission, 908-889-9028.

Please join the County of Union online at ucnj.org, on Facebook at ucnj.org/facebook, and on Twitter at twitter.com/countyofunionnj.