New Jersey now has the highest percentage of mortgaged homes in foreclosure with 6.2% of all New Jersey mortgages being foreclosed on. New Jersey’s foreclosure process is also the longest in the country. Bank repossessions were up 90% in 2014 and continuing to rise, raising serious questions about the effect repossessions will have on the housing market and housing prices.
Jeff Blumenthal of the Philadelphia Business Journal recently reported that foreclosure filings were up by 71% in 2014 based on foreclosure data tracked by RealtyTrac. Overall, about 12,000 NJ homes were subject to a foreclosure filing in December and 4,000 NJ homes were subject to a foreclosure filing in January.
Kathleen Lynn of the Record reported that about 1.9% of NJ homes were in foreclosure in 2014. That is a significant and alarming number, which shows that the backlog of foreclosure filings will still take many years to clear out. Nationwide, just under 1% of all homes were impacted by a foreclosure filing, so NJ is over twice the national average.
These numbers can be deceptive. The statistics cited track all homes, not just mortgaged homes. Joe Tyrell of NJ Spotlight reports that about 6.2% of mortgaged homes are in foreclosure (as calculated by CaseLogic).
In Atlantic City, NJ a staggering 3% of the housing inventory was currently in foreclosure. This may be due in part to ongoing fallout from Hurricane Sandy, combined with casino closures and a high rate of unemployment resulting from the decline in gambling.
In Bergen County, 4,267 homes went into foreclosure in 2014, which was up about 60% from 2013. Likewise, new foreclosure filings in Passaic peaked with a more than 60% increase.
RealtyTrac reported that NJ foreclosures peaked in January of 2015, with about 120,000 properties subject to new foreclosure action. Bank repossessions, in turn, were at a 15-month high. This is attributed to the continued clean up of the logjam brought on by the robo-signing issues that stalled foreclosure filings in 2010.
Nationally, foreclosure starts are now back to pre-recession levels, RealtyTrac reported.
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