As ThinkProgress has reported, several states took their share of the $25 billion foreclosure fraud settlement and used it to balance their budgetsinstead of providing help to homeowners. New Jersey is one of those states, where Gov. Chris Christieplunked the money into the state’s general fund, not specifically earmarking it for foreclosure prevention.
And that isn’t the only way in which Christie is keeping aid from getting to homeowners who need it. According to a report by WABC’s Jim Hoffer, another pot of federal money delivered to the Garden State to prevent foreclosure has gone largely unused:
Two years ago, New Jersey received $300 million from the federal government to help the unemployed from losing their homes.
The state used that money to create the “Homekeeper Loan” program. […]
Data Eyewitness News obtained show since 2010, Homekeeper has only approved 498 families for foreclosure assistance, but nearly 2,000 homeowners have been denied help.
In fact, less than $4-million of the $300-million has been spent ranking New Jersey last among 18 recipient states in giving out these emergency foreclosure funds.
Christie blew off Hoffer’s question about the program during a press conference, telling Hoffer “don’t show up once in a blue moon and think you’re going to dominate my press conference.”
NJ ranks No. 2 in the nation with seriously delinquent mortgages. Tra la!