New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Announces Residential Mortgage Relief for New Jersey Citizens

On March 28, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain financial institutions have committed to provide New Jersey citizens with a 90-day residential mortgage forbearance and other similar financial relief.  Such institutions include, but are not limited to, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, in addition to over 40 other federal and state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers.  Under this deal, residents would be entitled to the following relief upon contacting their respective financial institutions:

  1. 90 Day Grace Period for Mortgage Payments

Financial institutions will offer, consistent with applicable guidelines, streamlined mortgage payment forbearance programs of up to 90 days to New Jersey borrowers economically impacted by COVID-19.  Further, upon a continued showing of hardship as a result of COVID-19, qualifying borrowers will have the opportunity to request additional relief. 

   2.  No Negative Credit Impacts Resulting from Relief

Financial institutions will not report a New Jersey borrower’s late payments to credit reporting agencies, consistent with applicable guidelines, for such borrowers taking advantage of this COVID-19-related relief.

   3.  Moratorium on Initiating Foreclosure Sales or Evictions

For at least 60 days, financial institutions will not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions, consistent with applicable guidelines.  This follows Governor Murphy’s March 19, 2020 Executive Order No. 106 (the “Order”), which imposed a moratorium on removing individuals from their homes pursuant to an eviction or foreclosure proceeding while the Order is in effect, and which will remain in effect for “no longer than two months following the end of the Public Health Emergency or State of Emergency established by Executive Order No. 103 (2020), whichever ends later, unless this Order is first revoked or modified by the Governor in a subsequent executive order.”  

   4.  Relief from Fees and Charges

For at least 90 days, financial institutions will waive or refund at least the following for New Jersey customers who have requested assistance: (i) Mortgage-related late fees; and (ii) Other fees, including early CD withdrawals (subject to applicable federal regulations).

For more information regarding Governor Murphy’s Mortgage Relief Initiative, please contact Michael O’Donnell at modonnell@riker.com, Michael Crowley at crowley@riker.com, or Anthony Lombardo at alombardo@riker.com.

Please visit Riker Danzig’s COVID-19 Resource Center to stay up to date on all related legal issues.