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NJ Foreclosure Rut Continues [MAP/AUDIO]

Foreclosure activity nationwide dropped to its lowest level last month since December 2006, according to the housing data site RealtyTrac, but the numbers for New Jersey weren’t as promising.

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While the Garden State in February experienced a 16 percent drop in foreclosures from the month prior, its foreclosure rate still managed to rank as the fourth-worst among all the states. One in every 739 properties had a foreclosure filing last month, an increase of more than 100 percent compared to February 2013.

“In a lot of states, the numbers are down, but in New Jersey, it’s going the opposite direction, and fairly dramatically in the opposite direction,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

The monthly report also looked at the country’s metro areas.

“Foreclosure activity in Atlantic City increased 254 percent on a year-over-year basis — the third consecutive month with a triple-digit percentage annual increase — and the city posted the nation’s seventh highest metro foreclosure rate,” RealtyTrac indicated in an emailed press release.

The harsh New Jersey trend is still being attributed to legal issues that stalled the foreclosure process years ago, including a moratorium on foreclosures in 2011.

“It’s not just overnight that these banks are catching up with the foreclosures. It’s taking them time,” said Blomquist, noting Superstorm Sandy caused delays as well.

He predicted New Jersey’s numbers will “turn the corner” sometime this year.

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