The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents dealing with foreclosure issues that the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency is offering a new program called HomeSaver, designed to help at-risk households achieve financial stability and avoid foreclosure.

“The Union County economy is looking up, but the challenges of the 2008 financial crisis and Hurricane Sandy continue to impact some households,” said Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh. “If you are concerned about foreclosure, I encourage you to look into the HomeSaver program.”

The new HomeSaver program is a foreclosure prevention initiative funded administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency (NJMFA) through a federal grant. It is designed to help residents bring their monthly mortgage payments to an affordable level.

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“HomeSaver is an especially valuable program because it kicks into action before mortgage delinquency occurs, thereby preventing a cascade of related problems that can overwhelm a homeowner,” said Jalloh.

HomeSaver provides up to $50,000 in financial assistance to eligible households at risk of foreclosure. Among other factors, eligibility is determined by financial hardship due to recent unemployment or a reduction in income.

Mortgage service participation in HomeSaver is voluntary, so as a first step homeowners should contact their server directly, to see if they have joined the program.

HomeSaver, like the similarly named Homekeeper program, is a no-fee program funded by a grant from the federal “Hardest Hit” program. To report fee charges or other suspected fraud, contact the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency (NJMFA) toll free at 855-647-7700 or email njhomesaver@njmfa.state.nj.us.

For more information about HomeSaver, including a brief self-screening questionnaire to determine eligibility, visit NJMFA online at newjerseyhomesave.com. NJMFA can also be reached by phone toll free at 855-647-7700.

In 2008, the Freeholder Board formed the Union County Foreclosure Task Force to coordinate local resources that can help homeowners and tenants dealing with foreclosure issues. Among other programs, the Task Force has compiled an online foreclosure resource directory available in English and Spanish at ucnj.org/foreclosures.

The Union County Clerk also offers a foreclosure resource “fast facts” FAQ online at ucnj.org/county-clerk.