Foreclosure Prevention

Bonita Holmes appeared on Newsworks to speak about the Homekeeper program

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Citizen Action offers free in-person foreclosure counseling for New Jersey homeowners who are struggling financially and are at risk of foreclosure. Our housing counseling service is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and our counselors are certified by NeighborWorks America. Counseling services are available in English and Spanish.

If you are having trouble with your mortgage, NJCAEF’s experienced counselors will work with you to identify the causes and possible solutions to your financial issues. Our counselors will help you communicate and negotiate with your lender or servicer, determine if you are eligible for any state or federal foreclosure assistance programs, help you apply for assistance, and make sure you understand all of the options that are available to you.

Over 37,000 individuals and families have participated in NJCAEF’s housing counseling program since it first began in 1992. In the last year alone, Citizen Action counseled more than 1,000 homeowners facing foreclosure. And as one of the NJ Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency’s approved counseling agencies, we help distressed homeowners at risk of foreclosure obtain more than $40 million in assistance through the NJ HomeSaver and NJ HomeKeeper Programs. In addition to foreclosure prevention counseling, NJCAEF offers general credit counseling and first-time homebuyer counseling.

If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, contact NJ Citizen Action Education Fund as soon as possible. After you complete an application for counseling, your application will be processed and one of NJCAEF’s Loan Counselors will contact you to set up an appointment.

Part of the foreclosure counseling process will include an evaluation of your current mortgage and an in-depth look at your financial situation, including all household income and expenses. You will need to provide your counselor with proof of income, bank statements, income tax returns, information about your current mortgage and property taxes, and more.


  • Income documentation – last three pay stubs or other proof of income for all applicants
  • Monthly expenses – listing of all credit cards, personal loans, car loans, etc. (all payments your household makes each month)
  • Last three bank statements – on any accounts in which you have savings or checking
  • Last two year’s tax returns (W-2’s and 1040’s)
  • Social Security numbers – for all applicants.
  • $21.50 for each applicant – fee for tri-merged credit report (unless you have a recent copy of report with scores); there is no fee for counseling.

CERTIFCATIONS: NJCAEF is a HUD-certified housing counseling agency. Our counselors are certified by NeighborWorks America. Citizen Action has adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling.  NJCAEF is not an approved Credit Counseling Agency or a provider of an approved Personal Financial Management Instructional Course by the Executive Office for United States Trustees.

HOW TO APPLY (English & Español)

To sign up for NJCAEF’s free first-time homebuyer or foreclosure counseling services:

  1. Access our secure online application and submit it directly online (English);
  2. Call 1-800-NJ-OWNER [1-800-656-9637] to have a copy of the application mailed to you;
  3. Print out a copy of the application and mail or fax it to:

NJCA Loan Counseling Service
625 Broad Street, Suite 270
Newark, NJ 07102
Fax: (973) 643-8100

NJCAEF’s online application has SSL and Data Encryption security features.

On the ENGLISH APPLICATION FORM, the first question will ask you what type of counseling you need. This application form may be completed and submitted online, or printed and faxed or mailed to our office. Please keep a copy of your completed application for your records.

The SPANISH APPLICATION FORM must be printed out, completed, and scanned/emailed, faxed, or mailed back to our office. Once your application is received by NJCAEF, our Intake Coordinator will process the application and forward it to your assigned loan counselor.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please email our Office Administrator at We look forward to working with you!

Special thanks to our Sponsors and Partners: New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund would not be able to provide these free services to individuals and families without the help of our sponsors and partners:

Alma Bank
Bank of America                                                                                                                           BB&T Bank
Capital One Bank
Cathay Bank
Citibank, N.A.
County of Essex
Housing & Community Development Network of NJ
HSBC Bank, N.A.
Investors Bank
JPMorgan Chase
Kearny Federal Savings Bank
M&T Bank
New Jersey Citizen Action
PNC Bank, N.A.
Roselle Savings Bank
RSI Bank
Santander Bank, N.A.
Schumann Fund for NJ
Sun National Bank
TD Bank, N.A.
The Provident Bank
Union County Savings Bank
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)                                                    Valley National Bank                                                                                                                  Victoria Foundation                                                                                                                      Wells Fargo Bank