Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange), alongside a number of mayors from predominantly Black cities, is calling for Gov. Phil Murphy to sign her bill on foreclosure equity into law.
The bill, which creates the “Community Wealth Preservation Program,” would make it easier to purchase property from sheriff’s sales of foreclosed properties by reducing the down payment from 20% to 3.5% and giving buyers 90 business days to pay off the balance instead of 30 days. If enacted, those with less money on-hand would in theory be better able to compete with house flippers and corporations.
“This bill addresses structural change in the foreclosure process that has resulted in the hemorrhaging of generational wealth and NJ leading the USA in foreclosures,” Timberlake said. “This bill gives New Jersey residents who may not have hundreds of thousands of dollars cash on hand a chance to capture a home at the sale and to live in a neighborhood they know and love.”
The legislature passed the bill largely on party lines in the spring, but Murphy’s office has indicated that the governor may conditionally veto it.
Joining Timberlake in calling for Murphy to sign the bill were Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, East Orange Mayor Ted Green, Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren, and Roselle Mayor Donald Shaw, each of whom lead mostly Black communities that struggle to keep up with big bidders at sheriff’s sales.
“It’s important for us to recognize the fact that homeownership is one of the biggest assets that we will accumulate in our lifetime, and any effort to preserve homeownership and generational wealth should be supported,” Mapp said.