Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance (ERMA)
- Up to $35,000 per household for expenses which may include:
- Mortgage reinstatement
- Escrow shortages
- Delinquent property taxes
- Municipal or property tax liens
- Mortgage payments, including principal, interest, taxes, and homeowner’s insurance
- To qualify for assistance, a homeowner must:
- Own and occupy an eligible one- to four- unit primary residence
- Have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship, and have been unable
to remain current on mortgage payments
- Meet household income limits
- Have been current on mortgage and property taxes as of January 2020
(minimum 4 weeks of pay statements)
(2 months for all bank accounts)
Tax Returns and Signed
(for all mortgages)
January 24, 2022- Governor Philip D. Murphy and Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver today announced the upcoming launch of the Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA) on February 8, 2022. This program – financed by the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) –provides up to $35,000 in assistance to cover mortgage arrearages and other housing cost delinquencies for eligible homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The ERMA application portal opens on Tuesday, February 8 at 9 AM. Access the application portal at https://njerma.com.
- Free housing counseling is available to assist with applications. Find a participating counselor here.
- Contact (855) 647-7700 or HAFservicing@njhmfa.gov for additional support.
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 at or below 150% of their county’s Area Median Income (AMI).
Once the ERMA portal opens, you will be able to submit an ERMA application using a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Housing counselors are available NOW to assist homeowners that need help understanding all available options and through the application process once it opens.
January 11, 2022 - The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) has received U.S. Treasury approval of our Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program, and the NJHMFA Governing Board has also approved the program. NJHMFA is taking the following steps in anticipation of full program launch during the first quarter of 2022:
- Receiving the full funding allocation in January 2022.
- Hired sufficient staff for program launch. They are now trained on programs and systems. New program staffing will add ~10 jobs to the local economy for NJ residents for 3-4 years.
- Retained housing counseling agencies to support the program statewide. Click here to find a counselor that is working with NJHMFA on the ERMA program under HAF.
- Established a list of the documents that applicants will likely need to submit to NJHMFA in their application for ERMA assistance. Please review and start to gather these documents now so you can quickly and efficiently apply once the program opens.
- Established a web and outreach presence to communicate with interested parties.
- Sign up for our notifications to receive up to date information.
November 23, 2021- The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) continues to work with U.S. Treasury to finalize our Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program under the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). NJHMFA is taking the following steps in anticipation of our full program launch after we receive that approval:
- Engaging knowledgeable housing counselors to assist participants during the application process and beyond;
- Planning and preparing outreach for those most in need of this vital assistance;
- Initiating a small pilot program to prepare for scalability and seamless operation of the full program upon U.S. Treasury releasing the funds to New Jersey;
- Creating multiple points of contact for potential applicants to reach the ERMA program; and
- Establishing program eligibility requirements.
Until our statewide program launches, NJHMFA encourages homeowners to work with their lenders and ask about repayment options that are available for their loan. Eligible loans insured or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA or USDA may not require full immediate repayment of amounts in arrears, and many homeowners with these loans may qualify to have the arrearages added the end of the loan term. Your lender will have full details and should work through all options with you.
NJHMFA also encourages homeowners to work with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, as housing counselors can provide guidance and awareness of all available programs and assist homeowners as they work through their options. We partner with housing counselors throughout New Jersey to ensure you have access to local, expert assistance. These services are offered at no charge to the homeowner. Click here to find a housing counselor in your area.
August 19, 2021 - NJHMFA has submitted the required information requested by U.S. Treasury to receive the Agency’s complete Homeowner Assistance Fund allocation. While Treasury reviews NJHMFA’s HAF submission, the Agency will continue to work diligently to prepare for a HAF program launch in the coming months.
August 2, 2021 - U.S. Treasury provided additional Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) plan guidance to all states. Treasury will soon make a portal available through which states may then submit their proposed HAF plans. Once Treasury opens the plan portal to all states, HAF participants have 14 days to submit their HAF plans or notify Treasury of the date on which their HAF plan will be submitted. NJHMFA is working diligently to comply with the revised guidance.
June 29, 2021 - U.S. Treasury amended the HAF Plan submission timeline for all state Housing Finance Agencies from June 30, 2021, to July 31, 2021, and the portal is not yet open to accept HAF submissions. Once submission is possible, NJHMFA will finalize and submit the New Jersey HAF plan to U.S. Treasury for review.
On June 17, 2021, NJHMFA hosted a virtual hearing to solicit public comments on HAF proposed uses. The agency has posted responses to the questions asked at the hearing and submitted to the HAF email during the public comment session. These responses address categories of questions comprehensively rather than each question individually to enhance understanding of the interplay between various elements of the proposal. These responses are also available in the attached document. Thank you to all who participated in this process for the valuable feedback provided.
- Public comment session responses
- NJHMFA responses to public comments (August 6, 2021)
- Notice documents for public hearing:
- Homeowner Assistance Fund and Program Planning Materials for Public Comment (June 14, 2021)
- Spanish (HAF) Overview and Program Planning Materials for Public Comment (June 14, 2021)
- Translation of the HAF Overview and Program Planning Materials for Public Comment is available upon request via HAF_Public_Comments@njhmfa.gov for the following languages: Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Hindi, Gujarati, Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin), Korean, Tagalog, and Arabic. (June 14, 2021)
- Notice of HAF Public Comment Session (June 14, 2021)
- Click here to receive HAF update notifications. (June 14, 2021)