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Why area foreclosure numbers are so high

Even after doing everything right, homeowners can find themselves thrust into unforeseen economic hardships due to any number of reasons, from illness to unemployment. Missed payments can lead to mortgage lenders initiating court proceedings for home foreclosure. Each state has a different foreclosure process, and this can have an effect on statistical reports. Many people living in neighboring states commute to New York City for work, so their economic success is intertwined with that of the city.

CoreLogic — a statistical analysis company — released its monthly home foreclosure report last week, and there is good news overall for the housing market. The foreclosure rate has decreased 17 percent in comparison to last year’s numbers. However, nearby New Jersey’s numbers increased a full percentage point to 7.7 percent, which is more than twice the nation’s average of 3.2 percent.

However, these numbers don’t reveal the whole story. New Jersey has a long foreclosure process that averages around 900 days because all foreclosures must be court mediated. Roughly the same number of homes entered the foreclosure process, but they were caught in a bureaucratic jam. The New Jersey Supreme Court had large lenders look over their foreclosure processes to fix any signing processes that were in violation of the Fair Foreclosure Act. The lenders had fewer filings as a result, dropping to 6,000 in July 2011 from 2010’s 58,000. Once they were in compliance, the mortgage lenders proceeded with filings, causing a 130 percent leap from September 2011 to September 2012.

This process has actually benefitted homeowners, as the courts are more carefully reviewing the lender’s foreclosure documents. While many would like the process to go quicker, the court review process gives struggling homeowners time and options to fight for their homes.

Source:, “New Jersey foreclosure numbers are high for a reason,” Tom De Poto, Dec. 9, 2012

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