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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have enabled a three-year delay in foreclosures against homeowners impacted by the October 2012 Superstorm Sandy.
According to an Asbury Park Press report, the legislation passed 56-14 in the Assembly and 27-6 in the Senate, but Christie waited until the final day of the legislature’s session to conditionally veto the bill. In addition to delaying foreclosure procedures until 2019, the bill proposed postponing mortgage payments for up to three years for homeowners whose storm-damaged properties are now being repaired or elevated.
“Courts are best-equipped to address the complicated, fact-sensitive issues that can arise when a homeowner is unable to comply with his mortgage obligations, and can provide a range of relief that is tailored to that homeowner’s specific situation,” Christie said in his veto statement. “I am concerned that this well-intentioned bill would preclude some homeowners who may need relief from receiving it, while providing relief to others who may not need it. In addition, I am concerned that the bill requires the state to reimburse mortgage holders a portion of their losses.”
Christie, who has been absent from New Jersey for long stretches of time over the past year while he seeks the Republican presidential nomination, was criticized by Assemblyman Gary Schaer, a Democratic legislator who sponsored the bill.
“We're talking about folks who have yet to receive their relief aid, who are currently paying a mortgage on a house that is not livable, while paying rent and whatever repair costs are needed to move back into their primary residence,” Schaer said. “Most of these people do not have the money or time to navigate the burdensome legal system.”