New Jersey Foreclosures Down 11 Percent

The new numbers are in, and it appears that the foreclosure situation got better in New Jersey over the first six months of 2012.

All told, there were just over 10,700 New Jersey foreclosure filings between January 1 and June 30 of this year. In 2011, there were over 18,400 during the same period. The decline marks an 11 percent drop in total foreclosure filings from a year ago.

At first, economists were worried that the data would reveal a huge jump in foreclosure filings. In 2010, courts put a hold on some foreclosure proceedings in order to investigate claims that some mortgage lenders had engaged in dubious and unfair practices. That freeze was just lifted this past February, and some commentators feared a deluge of new foreclosures would follow.

The average time to complete a foreclosure also fell by about 3 percent. Still, it takes approximately 2 1/2 years to complete a foreclosure in New Jersey, giving the state the second-longest foreclosure process in the United States.

The news isn’t entirely good though. Even though New Jersey foreclosures are down from the same period last year, they actually rose 2 percent when compared to the previous six months.

How to Handle a New Jersey Foreclosure

New Jersey residents who are served with foreclosure notices do have options. Sometimes, bankruptcy can provide relief from a burdensome second mortgage. In other cases, short sales offer a way to get rid of the home while avoiding foreclosures.

It is important to note, however, that any attempt to manage a foreclosure must be done through the appropriate legal channels. Simply walking away from the mortgage can have catastrophic consequences. Always be sure to talk to a lawyer before making any major decisions.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Foreclosures drop in New Jersey,” Tom De Poto, July 12, 2012.

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