|Brendan C. Gilfillan
Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force
September 26, 2013
SECRETARY DONOVAN ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL STEP TO PROTECT SANDY-IMPACTED HOMEOWNERS
WASHINGTON - The Federal Housing Administration and the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force today announced the sale of $180 million in defaulted loans in the Sandy-impacted region to a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which plans to work with homeowners to restructure their loans to help them remain in their homes. The CDFI - New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) - is launching a program called "Restart the Shore" to assist approximately 600 homeowners at all stages of the foreclosure process in the nine most impacted counties in New Jersey. The sale also represents implementation of a recommendation in the Task Force's Rebuilding Strategy, which included a number of steps to protect homeowners in the impacted region.
"This Administration has taken a series of steps to protect homeowners who, through no fault of their own, face foreclosure as a result of Sandy," said Secretary Donovan. "This sale will give families a desperately needed fresh start - a chance to stay in their homes, take steps to protect themselves from future storms and remain in the communities many have lived in for decades."
In the days after Sandy, Secretary Donovan joined Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Ed DeMarco in announcing a 30-day foreclosure moratorium for all federally backed loans in the Sandy-impacted region. That moratorium was extended through April 30. In addition, FHA and FHFA announced a forbearance process for those loans that included streamlined loan modifications to protect homeowners from massive lump sum payments when the moratorium expired.
By partnering with local HUD-approved counseling agencies, modifying homeowners' loans to make them more affordable and permitting as many as possible to remain in their homes, NJCC is contributing to the stability of entire communities impacted by Sandy, and its arrival on the heels of an already devastating recession. They will also work with homeowners to assess flood risks and help them take steps to mitigate against such risk.
The Restart program will ultimately impact hundreds of properties at a time in a given community, helping to revitalize entire neighborhoods. It will also create strong partnerships with regional institutions to help provide additional financial and other resources to communities - a key goal outlined in the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy released by the Task Force in August.