Renters who are financially hurt by the pandemic could not be evicted, penalized or fined for not paying rent during a public health emergency or 60 days after, if they qualify for relief under opens in a new windowA-4034.
And for homeowners and certain residential landlords who qualify, creditors would be required to let them delay mortgage payments through the 60-day grace period.
The catch-up payments would be added on to the end of a mortgage, not tacked on all at once when the public emergency is over, and landlords would have to agree to an affordable rental repayment plan with tenants.
The Assembly passed the bill with a 46-22 vote Thursday, and the Senate passed an earlier version in April with a 38-0 vote. The bill would retroactively apply to missed mortgage and rent payments starting March 9.
“I applauded the governor back in March when he announced a freeze on evictions and foreclosures and a mortgage forbearance,” said Joe Mangino, board president of the New Jersey Organizing Project. “I reached out to my bank and realized the fine print — banks were being asked to defer the forbearance payment to the end of the loan. This was voluntary and there was no mandate … my mortgage company is expecting a lump-sum payment to bring my mortgage current. We need to give homeowners and renters a fighting chance to survive.”