FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

IMPORTANT: Effective 11:59pm on 12/31/2018 the NJ HomeSaver program is no longer accepting applications for assistance.

If you have already applied for assistance and need to manage your account, visit the application portal here: https://www.hardesthitnj.org/Default.aspx 

What is the New Jersey Hardest Hit Fund Program (NJHHF)?

New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund (NJHHF) program is a federally assisted loan program administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) to assist eligible homeowners with their mortgage.

The New Jersey HomeSaver Program offers eligible homeowners up to $50,000 in financial assistance to help bring their household monthly payment to an affordable level by using HHF funds to facilitate a refinance, recast, or permanent modification of the first mortgage loan.  

 HHF Logo and HUD Logo

How do I apply for assistance?

Effective 11:59pm on 12/31/2018 the NJ HomeSaver program is no longer accepting applications for assistance.

If you have already applied for assistance and need to manage your account, visit the application portal here: https://www.hardesthitnj.org/Default.aspx 

If you need further assistance, call the NJ Hardest Hit Fund toll free at 1-855-647-7700 or 609-278-7660, or email hardesthitnj@njhmfa.gov. Due to a high volume of inquiries, we ask that you please be patient when waiting for a response.

Am I eligible?

An applicant must (1) occupy the subject property as their primary residence, and (2) have a qualified hardship supported by a completed and signed Hardship Affidavit.

The property must (1) be located in New Jersey, (2) not be abandoned, vacant, condemned or uninhabitable, (3) be a one- to three-family residential property, a condominium unit, or a manufactured home that is on a foundation permanently affixed to real property owned by the homeowner and secured by a real property first mortgage loan. Co-ops are ineligible.

The mortgage must (1) be a first lien mortgage*, (2) have a current unpaid principal balance no greater than $429,619 for a one-unit property or $550,005 for a two- or three-unit property (which includes the interest bearing principle and any outstanding non-interest bearing forbearance balance from a previous modification), and (3) be delinquent or at risk of imminent default.

*Home equity lines of credit (“HELOCs”) are not eligible for assistance even if they are in first lien position.

Additional eligibility criteria exist. 

What is an eligible hardship?

Hardships that may qualify homeowners for assistance include:

  • An involuntary loss of employment income
  • A reduction in household income due to underemployment or other demonstrated financial hardships including medical, divorce, disability or death. 

Applicants are required to provide a hardship affidavit and may also be required to provide additional documentation on the cause of the hardship.

How long does the approval process take?  

Processing times may vary depending on the volume of applications received during a given week. Please allow up to 8 weeks for processing of your application. Applicants should submit the required documents in a timely manner to avoid additional processing time.

Can I reapply if I previously received or am currently receiving assistance?

You cannot reapply to receive assistance from a program that you previously or are currently receiving assistance from.

If I qualify for assistance, do I have to pay it back?

NJHHF assistance is provided in the form of 0% interest rate, non-amortizing (no monthly payments), forgivable, subordinate 10 year loan. After the sixth year of the closing date of the loan, the loan amount will be forgiven at a rate of 20% per year, to be forgiven in full at the end of the tenth year.

All or a portion of the unforgiven loan funds will be due and payable from the net equity proceeds upon sale or transfer or refinance of the property (except for refinances for a lower rate and/or shorter term) or if you cease to occupy the property as your primary residence prior to the end of the tenth year.

If the property is sold and does not generate sufficient funds to repay all or a portion of the loan, the portion of the loan remaining unpaid after the proceeds are applied will be forgiven.

Document FAQs

I received a 1098-MA tax statement from NJHMFA. What is this document?

The 1098-MA provides you and the IRS with the dollar amount of financial assistance that your mortgage servicer received on your behalf from any NJ Hardest Hit Fund programs.

NOTE: NJHMFA does not provide tax advice to homeowners regarding benefit assistance. Please consult a tax professional regarding possible tax liability. Homeowners may obtain additional information from the IRS regarding their determination of tax liability for Hardest Hit Fund programs at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch23.html

I received a privacy notice from NJHMFA. What is this document? 

Under Regulation P of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), NJHMFA is required to provide our borrowers with initial and annual notices regarding our Agency’s privacy practices.

What should I do if I have additional questions regarding the program?

Contact New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund Program at 1-855-647-7700 or 609-278-7660 or via email at hardesthitnj@njhmfa.gov.