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New Jersey foreclosures up and running

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, a record 16.7 percent of home mortgages in the state of New Jersey are late on their monthly payments, or in foreclosure. That is above the 12.5 nationwide percentage. In addition, after the foreclosure slow down last year in the wake of reports of mortgage service abuse and investigations, the process is coming back online. In fact, foreclosure activity numbers in New Jersey last month rose nearly 72 percent compared to March of 2011.

Foreclosure filings and sheriff auctions are up drastically compared to this time last year, but significantly below the numbers we saw in 2010. New Jersey was part of a $25 billion settlement between five large mortgage lenders and state and federal officials that were accused of “robo-signing” foreclosure paperwork and cutting corners to get people evicted quicker.

While a state Superior Court judge allowed those lenders to begin foreclosure proceedings again, many were waiting for a settlement in a state’s Supreme Court case regarding an East Orange property. The owners challenged their foreclosure because they said their lender didn’t properly identify itself and only the mortgage servicer was identified in their notices. As a result, notices must now identify the actual lender of the mortgage loan, not just the mortgage servicer. Large banks will have tens of thousands of foreclosure notices to correct before they can continue moving forward with foreclosure proceedings.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one way to avoid foreclosure, keep your house, stop repossession and garnishment of your wages while figuring out a comfortable payment plan.

Source:, “Foreclosure auctions on the rise in Bergen and Passaic,” Kathleen Lynn, April 16, 2012

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