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New Jersey homeowners still trying to stop foreclosure

It has been said that the number of foreclosures has gone down across the country. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case here in New Jersey. Many homeowners are still struggling to stop foreclosure of their homes.

Nationwide, the percentage of new foreclosure filings dropped nearly 44 percent at the end of August when compared to the number of foreclosures filed at the end of August last year. During that same time period, new foreclosures were up 18 percent in our state. Overall, there has been a 43 percent rise in foreclosure activity in New Jersey over the last year.

Many of these homes, however, were caught up in the controversy over an abuse of homeowners' rights by lenders. Now that those issues have been resolved, the foreclosure process has restarted for many homeowners. Some of these cases have been backlogged for up to two years.

Nationwide, the economy is improving and home prices are improving right along with it. For some homeowners, the value of their homes have increased to a point where the owners are no longer underwater on their mortgages. This has allowed, and may continue to allow, many homeowners the opportunity to sell or refinance their homes.

That is good news for many people, but for those who are still struggling to stop foreclosure, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Filing for bankruptcy protection can halt a foreclosure at least long enough for the homeowners to take a step back and assess the best options to alleviate their financial difficulties. It may be possible to save the affected home, but a bankruptcy filing could also give the homeowner the option of walking away.

Source:, Foreclosures plummeting, but not in New Jersey, No author, Sept. 12, 2013

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