"NJ Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act" - has been hurriedly scheduled for a vote Thursday, June 21, in the NJ State Assembly.
Encourage your two Assembly representatives to vote NO, and secure the promise from Governor Christie that he will VETO the Bill if it reaches his desk.
Despite huge fiscal and emotional opposition at Monday's New Jersey Assembly Appropriations
Committee hearing from Eagle Forum of New Jersey, Americans for Prosperity-NJ, and multi-New Jersey Tea Parties and taxpayers, A2168 passed out of Committee via strictly partisan votes. Please thank these Republicans: Asw. Alison McHose, Asw. Caroline Casagrande, and Asm. John DiMaio for their NO votes.
Opposition cited: the huge cost of the Bill has an "indeterminate fiscal impact on State and local government" per the Office of Legislative Services; the Bill (known as both A2168 and S1566) represents another bank bailout; it's the largest state land grab in history (the state will manage property on your block - who are they kidding?!); a serious, growing threat to neighborhood stability considering rapidly expanding mortgage foreclosures and the questionable use of such properties; our market based preference to sell these very affordably priced homes at auction via private, responsible buyers and without big government involvement; a huge loss of local tax revenue; and much, much more.
Excerpts of Testimony Written and Spoken Before the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee
Eagle Forum of New Jersey Opposes the
New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act
Assembly Bill A.2168/Senate Bill S.1566
Low-income subsidized housing in every New Jersey neighborhood
Historical, growing expansion of State Government
Another Bank Bailout
Indeterminate Fiscal Impact
Reduced local ratables
This legislation will allow a property owner’s tax dollars subsidize the next owner of that home – as low income subsidized housing - after the property owner has been evicted via foreclosure. This could effectively devalue every neighborhood in New Jersey.
In effect, this legislation would be one of the largest expansions of State Government in our history, bringing government into every neighborhood in New Jersey while making them our largest landlord and property owner. There are over 500 homes currently in foreclosure in Bergen County alone - with more than 20 scheduled for foreclosure this week by the Sheriff’s Department and over 250 through August.
Consider the abuse and negative repercussions: market value increases in the years ahead while communities sit with massive numbers of state owned halfway houses, low-income state subsidized housing, and decreased ratables; increased local crime; the State cannot take care of the property; and last, but not least, possible corruption and poor oversight.**** With an “indeterminate fiscal impact on State and local government" per the Office of Legislative Services, and considering the $72 million settlement to New Jersey from big banks via the Federal government, (see article below**), why are any further funds necessary now and from what source would they be obtained? Once, again, New Jersey property owners, hard working taxpayers, and seniors living on fixed incomes are disregarded and abused.
The financial risk will continue to quickly grow. "Foreclosure filings in the State have climbed 86% in the past year. One in every 1629 NJ households was in some stage of foreclosure process. That compares with a national rate of one in every 639. The Mortgage Bankers Association recently reported a record of 16.7% of mortgages in New Jersey were either late on monthly payments or in foreclosure, compared with 12.5% nationwide. One in every 2986 household in Bergen County faced some foreclosure activity in May, up 79% from a year earlier. In Passaic County, one in every 1629 households faced foreclosure activity in May, up 112% from a year earlier."*
In the distant past, I was a business director for a major mortgage originations unit in the metro area achieving a #1 market share for what was then the nation's leading bank. At that time, lending practices were prudent and conservative; borrowers had to prove ability to repay and apply substantial down payments; properties were properly appraised; government did not yet encourage banks to dilute those good practices; and sexy financial gimmicks were only beginning to emerge. When our bank's former, stable stock started to dip precipitously due to the nation's general economic woes and other concerns those decades ago, worried investors questioned whether or not to sell or hold. The response: the government was never going to let this big bank fail. That response has proven true over and over. But, now, and ever more clearly, taxpayers know that this cozy big government/big business/big bank relationship has irreparably damaged our economy, their pocketbooks, and America's future. The Bill discussed today, A.2168, is indicative of this unconstitutional, unhealthy, budget busting relationship. It's another bank bailout - at a state level. It promulgates the reason why such foreclosures have overwhelmed and forever changed our economy. It's the continuation of the sell-out of America by and for the few. But, increasingly, the many, like us here today, and also e-mailing and phoning you, cannot sit back and take it anymore. Our problem is not just in Washington, D. C. It's right here in New Jersey with bills like A.2168 that Eagle Forum of New Jersey strongly opposes. So must you. Thank you.
For references relating to the comments above, please note the following:
*Foreclosure Activity on the rise in N. J.
http://www.northjersey.com/news/159007215_N_J__foreclosure_activity__beginning_to_increase.html THE RECORD THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
**Needy States Use Housing Aid Cash to Plug Budgets http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/business/states-diverting-mortgage-settlement-money-to-other-uses.html New York Times May 15, 2012
**The Mortgage Settlement and the States http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/05/16/business/16mortgagesettlement-document.html/#document/p32 New York Times May 15, 2012 ( New Jersey's allocation. Note that VA is giving their funds to cash strapped local communities).
****As Escapees Stream Out, a Penal Business Thrives
New Jersey plans to apply its share of the settlement proceeds for its attorneys’ fees, investigation costs and other expenses related to the investigation and resolution of this matter as well as on one or more of the following programs: Affordable Housing, Local Planning Services, Developmental Disabilities Residential Services, State Rental Assistance Program, Homelessness Prevention, Shelter Assistance, Community Based Senior Programs, Mental Health Residential Programs, Social Services for the Homeless, and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
STATE: NEW JERSEY
FINAL DETERMINATION? AG ANNOUNCEMENT
FOR HOUSING? Y-OPEN
AG ANNOUNCED MONEY TO BE USED FOR VARIOUS STATE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAMS; CONCERN ABOUT WHICH PROGRAMS AND WHETHER GOVERNOR WILL TRY TO DIVERT FUND TO NEW PURPOSE
****As Escapees Stream Out, a Penal Business Thrives