NJ Foreclosure Activity Still Growing [AUDIO]
August was the nation's 23rd straight month of a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity. In New Jersey, it was the sixth straight month of a year-over-year increase.
According to the newest report from RealtyTrac, about 2,400 New Jersey properties last month reported foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. The number jumped seven percent from July and an extreme 65 percent since the same time last year.
- CLICK HERE for county-by-county foreclosure data
"In judicial states such as Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New York, this was a continuation of a trend we've been seeing for several months now," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. He noted New Jersey's foreclosure numbers last year were at "artificially-low levels."
Many homeowners going through the foreclosure process over the past couple of years were offered a break from the action when the federal government stepped in to address "robo-signing" foreclosure processing. Earlier this year, a $25 billion settlement was made between five mortgage lenders and 49 states, including New Jersey.
"Now lenders are playing catch-up and pushing through some of those foreclosures that were delayed last year," Blomquist said.
New Jersey also bucked the national trend in foreclosure starts. Nationwide, starts were down 13 percent from August 2011. New Jersey was one of 18 states where foreclosure starts experienced an annual jump (101 percent).
Still, New Jersey's foreclosure rate ranked lower than most states.
Blomquist said the foreclosure issue won't be solved immediately by an improving economy.
"There's not a quick fix to this, I don't think. The economy improving will help, but it's going take time for many of these homeowners to get out of the hole they're already in," said Blomquist.