$325 Million Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program for Struggling Homeowners

Morristown Minute

The Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA) Uses Federal Funding to Provide Financial Assistance and Counseling for Homeowners.

On Feb. 8, the State of New Jersey launched the Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA), a federally financed program for homeowners who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible homeowners can receive up to $35,000, plus free housing counseling services, to cover mortgage arrearages, delinquent property taxes, and other housing cost delinquencies.

The program aims to make loss mitigation options, such as refinancing, a viable option in the eyes of struggling homeowners.

ERMA, which is being administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), utilizes $325.9 million of federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) money under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

ERMA provides:

  • free housing counseling services to aid New Jersey homeowners in applying for the program,
  • guidance through all available options with expert counselors, and
  • collaboration with personal loan servicers to achieve the best outcome available for struggling families.

These counselors will also ensure that the process is accessible to those without access to the Internet or those requiring additional help navigating this process.

To qualify for the ERMA program, homeowners must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a New Jersey homeowner with a demonstrated COVID-19-related financial hardship occurring after January 20, 2020
  • Own and occupy an eligible primary residence
  • Have an income below 150% of their Area Median Income (AMI).

For Morris County, 150% below our Area Median Income means:

  • $112,800 – for 1-person household
  • $128,900 – for 2-person household
  • $145,000 – for 3-person household
  • $161,100 – for 4-person household
  • $174,000 – for 5-person household
  • $186,900 – for 6-person household
  • $199,800 – for 7-person household
  • $212,700 – for 8-person household

NJHMFA will provide the centralized application intake platform, eligibility review, and payment – which will be made directly to the servicer.

Housing counselors are available to assist homeowners with applications or navigating their mitigation available options.

ERMA applications can be submitted using a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, or call 855-647-7700 to be put in touch with a housing counselor. The application portal is available in many languages.

The ERMA application portal is available at: www.njerma.com.

Visit www.njhousing.gov/dca/hmfa/covid19/haf to review program eligibility guidelines and sign up for program updates

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