Nationwide, the seven counties with the worst foreclosure rates are right here in the Garden State.

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According to online real estate tracker ATTOM Data Solutions, New Jersey had the highest rate of foreclosure activity among the 50 states and D.C. in 2017 — 1.61 percent of all housing units, compared to a rate of .51 percent nationally.

The report pointed to 57,559 New Jersey properties with a foreclosure filing — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — in 2017.

While the nation hit an 11-year-low for the number of homes repossessed by lenders, New Jersey reached an 11-year-high in the same category, experiencing a 19 percent increase from 2016.

"That's where homeowners are actually losing their homes," said Daren Blomquist, ATTOM senior vice president. "Those properties then hit the market, which in many cases can be a drag on the market because they're often distressed properties that sell at a discount."

New Jersey also ranked among the worst states for the average time it takes for a foreclosure to move from start to finish (1,298 days), and the share of loans in foreclosure that originated between 2004 and 2008 (20,172), known as legacy loans.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 676,535 U.S. properties in 2017, down 27 percent from the year prior and down 76 percent from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010, the report finds.

New Jersey's foreclosure rate fell 13.56 percent between 2016 and 2017. But the counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem and Sussex posted the seven worst rates in the nation.

The state as a whole saw 21,274 properties start the foreclosure process in 2017. That's down 23 percent from the previous year, meaning fewer people are getting way behind on their mortgage payments.

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