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Delinquent mortgage debt still a problem in New Jersey

There is evidence that foreclosures in New Jersey are beginning to drop. Of course, some of that drop may be due to lenders halting foreclosures after Hurricane Sandy. However, there are still many homeowners that are still struggling with delinquent mortgage debt and are still in danger of foreclosure.

According to the numbers, there is actually a lack of homes on the market for sale. Foreclosed homes are only selling at approximately five percent below their market value, which is better than it has been in the past. In some parts of New Jersey, homes values have actually risen about 10 percent.

The amount of foreclosures that are occurring in New Jersey now may also be the result of a backlog that was created when lenders were ordered to review mortgage loans in light of the "robo-signing" scandal in 2011. Now, as many of those reviews are completed, the homeowners are once again facing foreclosure. All of this indicates that the housing market in our state may not be as bad off as the numbers seem to suggest.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean much to homeowners that are still unable to pay their mortgage debt. For those families, the prospect of foreclosure is still very real. Filing for bankruptcy protection could give these families the time and space they need to make some decisions regarding their financial situation. Based on a homeowner's financial situation, it may be better to file a Chapter 13 in which debts are reorganized, or a Chapter 7 in which debts are liquidated. Seeking advice regarding which type of bankruptcy to file and having assistance with the process could ensure that a homeowner comes out of bankruptcy in the best financial condition possible.

Source: nj.com, "Foreclosures in New Jersey still up, but correcting course," Tom De Poto, April 11, 2013

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