It's no secret to Essex County homeowners that foreclosure activity is on the rise again in New Jersey. The increase is a result of foreclosure processors at last getting to the backlog caused by earlier judicial delays. While many homeowners know what leads to foreclosure - debt, etc - what becomes of these foreclosed upon homes after they're emptied?
Foreclosure is nothing new for Essex County homeowners as New Jersey residents are still battling to bring an end to these problems. Those who are unemployed, debt-burdened, or low-income are in a particularly tough position to combat the housing crisis, and these are the households faced with trying to stop foreclosure. For many of these households, hope lies in the ability to turn their finances around in the future. Yet some homeowners don't have the same options.
When an Essex County household is faced with foreclosure, it can be a trying time. Many turn to professionals who can help try to stop foreclosure and expect that these professionals will uphold their best interests. Unfortunately in many businesses, including the foreclosure business, this is not always the case. Some individuals face scams, misleading information, and promises that cannot be fulfilled rather than the relief they need when trying to prevent a foreclosure.
New Jersey homeowners and those familiar with this blog may have heard about the slight nationwide decrease in foreclosures seen in the first few months of the year, as compared to a year earlier. The decrease was a small one, with many states still holding onto high foreclosure rates. However, whether due to still mounting debt or a still unstable economy, national foreclosure rates have gone up again -- the first national increase in 28 months.
Readers of this blog may be familiar with the continuously high foreclosure rates New Jersey has been seeing. However, the national foreclosure inventory appears to be slightly decreasing in the first months of this year as compared to data from 2011. It is not said whether New Jersey will be able to stop foreclosure rates from rising in the state anytime soon, though it may be that a nationwide change could lead to a change in the state as well.
When someone is faced with foreclosure on top of an already intimidating amount of debt, it can be a time of understandable stress and uncertainty. Many New Jersey residents with large amounts of debt turn to personal bankruptcy as an answer to their financial situation. Often, when an individual is dealing with debt, a home foreclosure is also on the horizon. Many times, these individuals turn to bankruptcy as a solution not only to solve their debt problems but to prevent a foreclosure.
While foreclosure rates are below what they were a year ago and have gone up just a bit from February to March, foreclosure is still a looming concern for many New Jersey homeowners. In March, there were 69,000 homes foreclosed upon in the United States -- 3,000 more than in February. And even still, there are plenty of homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments and on the edge of foreclosure. Homeowners in trouble on the mortgages do, though, have the opportunity to stop foreclosure.
When one thinks of foreclosures, the growing debt in the housing market is the first thing that typically comes to mind. While these foreclosures are hitting the highest numbers, foreclosures of non-residential properties are at an increase since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007. This is a serious concern for businesses, as the still-struggling economy leads to a decrease in business and an increase in debt accumulation. For New Jersey, in fact, commercial property foreclosures carry the most pronounced increase in foreclosures in the state.
Knowing that you have debt hanging over you that puts you in danger of bankruptcy or foreclosure is a stressful and difficult enough process on its own for New Jersey families. This situation is made even more troubling when your home is improperly foreclosed upon for outstanding debt through faulty paperwork or other lender negligence. With so many recent incidents of improper foreclosure actions by lenders and servicing companies, the Federal Reserve says it plans to fine an additional eight banks that were not part of the massive $25 billion settlement already agreed to by the country's five largest lenders.
New Jersey housing counseling agencies, among those in many other states, are set to receive about $660,000 in funding from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. This money is being made available to help reduce the number of foreclosures in the state. For several years now these organizations have been working to reduce foreclosures, and to educate low-income families about housing issues to help them avoid heavy debt in the future.