UNION COUNTY, NJ – Property owners fearing, facing or trying to avoid foreclosure are invited to attend a free educational presentation, “Foreclosure: Moving from Fear to Positive Action.”  Panel members representing state and county agencies will provide information and guidance to these homeowners, including identifying free state and county resources that are available to them.

The presentation will take place on Friday, October 28, at the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, 118 Division Street in Elizabeth. Individuals can attend either a morning session from 9:30 to 11:30AM, or an afternoon session from 12:30 to 2:30PM.  

“We have added these daytime sessions to give everyone the opportunity to get this free and greatly needed information about free resources available to them,” said Nora Mislan, Co-Chair of the Union County Human Relations Commission.  “Understandably, anyone who is facing or fearing foreclosure is anxious and scared.  They do not know how to save their homes or where to turn 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, agencies and free resources available to them that can help them take positive actions and achieve the best possible outcome. I believe we can say we literally have helped every person who has attended our free evening presentations that we have presented county-wide over the past five years.”

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“For any home owner facing foreclosure issues, getting reliable guidance and information is a critical first step toward improving your situation,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “The Freeholder Board is proud to support the Forum series, which provides County residents with an opportunity to talk to the experts in a relaxed, supportive environment.”

The presentations are free and open to the public.  Free parking is available in their lot, or on the street.  The facility is wheelchair accessible.

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

“The Union County Foreclosure Task Force and the Union County Human Relations Commission have dedicated their time and resources to helping our fellow Union County residents in a time of need,” said Freeholder Linda Carter. “With these informative programs, home owners and tenants can access reliable information and avoid scammers who prey on fear and anxiety.”

Created in 2008 by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Union County Foreclosure Task Force shares information and coordinates 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.

The presentation includes 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. 

Attendees will also gain an understanding of foreclosure proceedings, the court mediation process, Sheriff’s sales, guidance on avoiding foreclosure scams, and details about resources available to those who are affected. Tenants living in foreclosed properties will also be directed to available resources.

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, call the Union County Human Relations Commission at 908-889-9028.