NJ seeing fewer ‘zombie’ foreclosures — good news for your block
So-called "zombie foreclosures," where the foreclosed property's owner walks away, continue to decline in New Jersey and nationally.
A zombie foreclosure is a property that is in the foreclosure process and is vacant. Basically, the home owner has left, even before they have been foreclosed on, and the bank has not taken back the property.
Darren Blomquist, senior vice president of realty watcher ATTOM Data Solutions, says there's been a big drop in zombies as a result of an improving economy.
"It is vacant and those often, in the wake of this last housing crisis, became quite a problem in places like New Jersey, especially with a very long foreclosure process where those properties were sitting vacant for a long period of time, falling into disrepair and then also dragging down the values of surrounding properties because of their obvious disrepair," he said.
Blomquist says New Jersey's gone down to 900 zombies from 2,300 a year ago.
The State remains in the Top 10 for zombie foreclosures but we've dropped from No. 1.
And there has been improvement in reducing zombie foreclosures in the country as a whole. There were 44,000 in 2013, when ATTOM first began tracking them. But they report that number across the country is now less than a quarter of what it was five years ago.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5