201510.16
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N.J. foreclosure rate is highest in U.S., report shows

N.J. foreclosure rate is highest in U.S., report shows

New Jersey’s foreclosure rate was the highest in the nation in the third quarter of 2015, edging out Florida for the top spot, according to a new report released on Thursday.

By Erin O’Neill | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

New Jersey’s foreclosure rate was the highest in the nation in the third quarter of 2015, edging out Florida for the top spot, according to a new report released on Thursday.

One in every 171 housing units had a foreclosure filing in New Jersey in the third quarter of this year, the report from the Irvine, Calif.-based housing firm RealtyTrac shows. That’s more than double the national average.

In New Jersey, foreclosure activity increased 27 percent in the last three months compared to the same quarter last year. The number of foreclosure starts in the state dropped from a year ago but scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions jumped in the state.

Foreclosure activity nationwide was up 3 percent from the same quarter last year and the country experienced the largest year-over-year increase in bank repossessions since RealtyTrac started tracking quarterly data in the beginning of 2008.

Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, attributed the rise in foreclosure activity to “two starkly different trends taking place.”

“In states such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York, a flood of deferred distress from the last housing crisis is finally spilling over the legislative and legal dams that have held back some foreclosure activity for years,” Blomquist said in a statement. “That deferred distress often represents properties with deferred maintenance that will sell at more deeply discounted prices, creating a drag on overall home values.”

But Blomquist said increases in other states, like Texas, Michigan and Washington, are a sign of a foreclosure market that “has settled into a normalized pattern close to or even below pre-crisis levels” and that additional activity should not have a significant impact on home values.

New Jersey, which has a judicial foreclosure process, has consistently ranked near or at the top of recent rankings based on foreclosures rates and distressed mortgages.

The state also has the highest number of vacant homes in the foreclosure process, according to RealtyTrac, a problem that has led Gloucester and Atlantic counties to pursue registration programs for abandoned properties.


Erin O’Neill may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @LedgerErin. Find NJ.com on Facebook.foreclosureforeclosure


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