From Yahoo News:
CBS's New York affiliate reported that despite improvements in the economy, foreclosures in New Jersey are expected to increase 20 percent this year.
Kevin Wolf, who works for the administrative office of the courts, estimated that prior to the economic meltdown caused in part by subprime mortgages, there were approximately 24,000 to 25,000 foreclosures each year. That number nearly tripled to 65,000 foreclosure filings in 2009. That number is set to be even higher during 2011.
Although the economy has shown marked improvement since its darkest days, common economic wisdom is that jobs are the last area of the economy to recover. With high levels of unemployment come high levels of foreclosures.
Just a few days ago the Washington Post reported the Mortgage Bankers Association had announced mortgage delinquency rates, which measure how many home owners are behind on their mortgage payments, had dropped during the last quarter of 2010, to their lowest level since 2008 when the economy began its now legendary nosedive.
Although the figures released showed that 8.2 percent of outstanding loans were delinquent in the fourth quarter of 2010, an improvement from 9.1 percent in the third quarter of 2010, and 9.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009, that rate is still higher than the mortgage bankers normally see during a healthy economy.
One positive sign though is the lower rate of home owners that are one payment late. This is seen as a sign that there are fewer newly unemployed home owners, which is a positive indicator for overall employment.
Despite the cautiously optimistic tone of the Mortgage Bankers Association's report, the news for New Jersey continued to be bleak. Approximately half of all foreclosures occur in just five states, one of which is New Jersey. The others are Florida, California, Illinois and New York.
According to Wolf, though, there is some home for New Jersey home owners in trouble. Wolf said that, "In addition to the housing counselors, we are also funding attorneys to help home owners in the mediation process." This could mean renegotiating mortgages, lowering interest rates, extending the timing of the loan, and, hopefully, keeping people in their homes.