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Foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rates are falling

While New Jersey is still listed in the top five states with the highest percentage of foreclosures, it looks like the country-wide foreclosure rate is on the downswing – welcome news to those who were hit hard by the housing crisis.

CoreLogic found that the number of pending foreclosures, serious delinquencies and completed foreclosures had all decreased in its National Foreclosure Report for November. The four other states with a high inventory of foreclosure were Florida, Connecticut, Maine and New York, but 35 states reported in at lower than the 2.3 percent national average.

Delinquencies were down to 5 percent, the lowest rate in five years, and the number of serious delinquencies was at 1.97 million, a six-year low and down from 2.021 million in October. The number of properties that had begun the foreclosure process was less than 53,000, a 10 percent decrease from October and a full 32 percent lower than 2012. In fact, it was the lowest number reported since 2005. Bank repossessions were also down 19 percent from October and down 48 percent from 2012. It was the lowest level since 2007, and experts are expecting these trends to continue.

TransUnion predicts that the mortgage delinquency rate will drop to 3.75 percent by the end of 2014. This is a far cry from the near 50 percent delinquency rate in 2008 and 2009. According to a chief economist at the American Bankers Association, the drop in delinquency rates can be at least partially attributed to a rise in the number of available jobs and higher incomes.

If the number of foreclosures and delinquency rates across the country continue to fall as expected, it is likely that New Jersey will follow suit. For those facing foreclosure or exploring bankruptcy options and other debt relief strategies, these signs of a healthier economy are a breath of fresh air. For those contemplating or still working through bankruptcy proceedings, understanding how these filings can affect foreclosures is a key step in ensuring informed decision making.

Source: US Finance Post, “Mortgage Delinquencies Reach 6-Year Low, Near Normal Levels” Christine Layton, Jan. 13, 2014

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