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Forecloses increase as banks revisit distressed properties

After more than two year of declines, the numbers of foreclosures increased 12 percent from April to May. Data firm RealtyTrac said default notices, bank repossessions and scheduled auctions are back in full swing after a mortgage abuse case was settled in April.

While waiting for a decision, many banks stalled on their foreclosure processes until the $25 billion settlement between states and major banks was determined. Now that lenders throughout New Jersey know what the rules are, they feel more confident continuing and following through with their foreclosure proceedings.

In fact, here in New Jersey, we saw 1,136 foreclosure starts in May, an increase of 118 percent year-over-year. Short sales were also up during the first quarter, reaching their highest numbers in three years.

The overall foreclosure activity that affected about 206,000 homeowners in May was not because more people missed payments. In fact, the Mortgage Bankers Association said that delinquencies actually fell during the first quarter of 2012. It was merely the fact that lenders are back into full swing with their foreclosures, loan modifications and refinancing.

If you are burdened by overwhelming bills or debt, have been delinquent on mortgage payments and fear foreclosure, you are not alone. It is absolutely worth taking the time to discuss your options such as:

  • Negotiation of a mortgage loan modification with your lender
  • Negotiation to reinstate the loan or approve a “short sale”
  • Work out terms for refinancing of your mortgage
  • Surrender the home through Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • Undertake a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing to keep your home and organize a repayment plan

Source: reuters.com, “Foreclosures up for the first time in 27 months,” Anna Louie Sussman, June 14, 2012

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