PLAINFIELD — U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will chair a field hearing of the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development on the topic of “Saving Our Neighborhoods from Foreclosures” at the Black United Fund Health and Human Services, 403 West 7th Street, Plainfield, beginning at 11 a.m. Friday.
Menendez chose Plainfield due to the high number of foreclosures in the area as well as the devastating effects those foreclosures have on the community.
Topics covered by the Senator and witnesses will include the effects of foreclosures on New Jersey neighborhoods such as families displaced, crime, and declines in home values. They will also review what steps the Senator and other witnesses have taken or are advocating to fix these problems, such as funding for foreclosure counseling; more sustainable mortgage modifications including reducing the debt owed through shared appreciation; new standards for mortgage servicing; helping homeowners refinance; and more quickly fixing properties that have been foreclosed or converting them to rentals. The hearing is open to the public to observe the proceedings only. There will not be an opportunity for public comment.
Menendez will also discuss legislation he introduced this week that would allow homeowners to refinance at the current value of their homes. His legislation would allow families to remain in their homes and banks continue to receive mortgage payments, stabilizing neighborhoods and the economy.
The scheduled witnesses include Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs; Assmblyman Jerry Green; Krishna Garlic, chief executive officer of Brand New Day; Wayne Meyer, president of New Jersey Community Capital; Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action and Alan Mallach, senior fellow of the Brookings Institution and board member emeritus of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.
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