Foreclosure Protection Bill for Returning Military

12/22/15

Mazzeo, Andrzejczak, Johnson & Mukherji Foreclosure Protection Bill for Returning Military Gains Assembly Approval

Measure Would Extend Post-Military Service Protection Against Foreclosure

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo, Bob Andrzejczak, Gordon Johnson and Raj Mukherji to help military families avoid foreclosure by extending the military post-service protection period to one year gained Assembly approval on Thursday.

"Returning service men and women deserve an adequate amount of time to readjust to civilian life and find work," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "This legislation will help keep military families in their homes by giving them time and opportunity to catch up financially."

Current law protects a person in military service from a sale, foreclosure or seizure of his or her property during the person's period of military service and for three months after, unless an order of sale was granted and approved by the court. This bill (A-3971) would extend the post-service period of protection from three months to one year after release or discharge from military service.

"We enjoy an incomparable freedom and democracy because of the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women on the front lines," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland), a U.S. Army veteran. "When service members return to their home state of New Jersey, they should not have to face the possibility of losing their homes. Our military must have ample time to get back to work and back on a strong financial footing that will enable them to keep their homes."

"A threat of home or property loss is no way to treat anybody who was willing to risk his or her life for this country," said Johnson (D-Bergen), who served as a member of the Army Reserve. "Extending this post-service protection period will give those who served the time they need to re-acclimate to civilian life."

"In our effort to battle homelessness and unemployment among veterans, it's critical that we make it possible to hold on to the houses they live in, the cars they use to get to and from work and the small businesses they launch in hopes of hiring other veterans," said Mukherji (D-Hudson), who served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve. "This bill will make the transition back to life at home just a little bit easier for the men and women who served."

A provision of federal law currently provides service members with comparable protection against mortgage foreclosure for a full year after military service. However, the federal law is scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2016, at which time an earlier provision of law, which provided service members with a 90-day post-service period of protection form mortgage foreclosure, will be revived.

The bill was passed unanimously by the Assembly. It now awaits further Senate consideration.