NJ Anti-foreclosure aid program being reviewed

TRENTON, N.J. -- The Christie administration believes it is now making it easier for New Jersey homeowners facing foreclosure to qualify for federal aid.

The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program had closed only 56 loans and distributed a fraction of the $300 million in available aid through January.

Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable told Assembly members Wednesday that the program now has more staff, better management and has relaxed qualifying requirements.

The program provides zero-interest, deferred payment mortgage loans up to $48,000 for homeowners who have a track record of making their mortgage payments but are struggling because of unemployment or underemployment.

Democratic Assemblyman Jerry Green, who is chairing the hearing, says it's clear the administration dropped the ball under a previous commissioner.