Foreclosure forum designed to provide help, guidance

UNION COUNTY — A public education forum, “Foreclosure: Moving From Fear To Positive Action,” will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Heard A.M.E. Church, 310 East 8th Ave. in Roselle, with a snow date of Thursday, Feb. 27. The event is free and open to the public.

The forum is designed to provide guidance to property owners fearing or facing foreclosure issues, and to help tenants in properties with foreclosure issues. Free parking is available and the facility is wheelchair accessible.

The program is presented by the Union County Human Relations Commission and Union County Foreclosure Task Force in cooperation with the New Jersey Public Defender’s Office of Dispute Settlement and the Union County Superior Court.

“Understandably, anyone who is fearing or facing foreclosure is anxious and scared,” said Barbara Boyer, co-chair of the Union County Human Relations Commission. “We are trying to spread the word that there are free resources that are offered on a state and county level, options that are available, and positive actions that can be taken so the best possible outcome can be achieved.”

“People in foreclosure wake up worried every day,” said Elizabeth Hulse of the New Jersey Public Defender’s Office of Dispute Settlement. “They do not know how to save their homes or how to ask for help. This conference is about reaching out. We want these homeowners to know that they are not alone. The mediation program is designed to provide them with experienced advocates and neutral mediators to make sure that all possible ways of keeping their houses are explored with their banks.”

Hulse will be one of the key presenters. She will provide an overview of the New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation Program, and discuss how to apply for the program and its services.

The New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation Program provides resources and referral information for distressed homeowners.
Attendees will also gain an understanding of foreclosure proceedings, the court mediation process, guidance on avoiding foreclosure scams, and details about resources available to those who are affected.
Information on the rights of tenants living in foreclosed properties will also be shared.

“If you are in foreclosure now, or concerned that you may be heading toward that situation either as an owner or a tenant, I encourage you to attend the forum,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “It will provide you with expert, reliable information that can help you set your household finances on a more secure footing.”

The Union County Foreclosure Task Force will also make information and literature available about foreclosure resources. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders created the Task Force in the fall of 2008 as the foreclosure crisis was beginning to intensify.

The mission of the Foreclosure Task Force is to help stabilize Union County neighborhoods by providing property owners and tenants with guidance on their legal rights and resources.

For more information regarding the forum, contact the Union County Human Relations Commission, 908-889-9028.