New Jersey continues to lead the nation in foreclosures
A new report released Thursday shows foreclosures down 11 percent nationwide in the first six months of the year. Unfortunately, New Jersey is again bucking a national trend.
Nationwide, we are still 21 percent above those pre-recession levels in foreclosing homes. But compared to the peak of the foreclosure crisis, America is well below that threshold, and really heading back to normal levels of foreclosure activity.
It's good news for most of the country, with declining foreclosure activity, declining foreclosure rates, and in 15 states, foreclosure activity is back to below pre-recession levels — even below the levels in 2005-2006.
But in the year's first half, Jersey foreclosures rose 7 percent over the first six months of 2015, according to scorekeeper RealtyTrac.
"New Jersey is one of those outliers that is bucking the national trend, unfortunately," according to senior vice presdient Daren Blomquist.
He says we are a so-called judicial state, meaning every single foreclosure must go through the courts. And that's created a big backlog. Blomquist says one in every 102 Jersey homes is in foreclosure, compared to one in every 250 across the country.
"The numbers are continuing to rise in New Jersey, while they are falling nationwide," Blomquist said.
Blomquist said that in the Garden State, there are economic issues that may be regional in nature, and that may be exacerbating the foreclosure problem. One example: Atlantic City has the highest foreclosure rate of any metro area in the country.
Blomquist says AC has seen economic weakness over the last few years and big losses of jobs that are also going to drive foreclosures higher.
Daren Blomquist saTys for New Jersey, "it is hard to pick out too much silver lining in this report. New Jersey is not doing well when it comes to the foreclosure issue still. Foreclosure activity is up, and it is the highest rate in the country."
He says the upside: There are some signs that at least foreclosure starts, which foreshadow overall foreclosure activity, are starting to come down in New Jersey.
More from New Jersey 101.5:
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.