While New Jersey’s foreclosure rate is going down, it is still the highest in the nation. Real estate website Realty Trac says there are about 20,000 active cases which is comparable to the total prior to the financial crisis.

The national rate of foreclosures is 1 in every 2,471 mortgages, while New Jersey’s rate is one in 1,006. The good news is that the foreclosure rate in the Garden State has dropped 24% since last year and there is a package of bipartisan bills passed by the legislature to address the problem.

One of the reasons we have a higher foreclosure rate than the rest of the country is because foreclosure is a judicial process in New Jersey so it takes longer than in other states. The legislation seeks to shorten that as well as offering greater consumer protection through increasing the notice a lender has to give a mortgagee and offering increased access to mediation before foreclosure proceedings begin. It also shortens the time a property can remain vacant and requires banks that foreclose on a property to have someone to provide maintenance and security on the home to prevent it from becoming an eyesore. The legislation awaits Governor Murphy’s signature.

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