While most of the country has made great strides in bouncing back from the real estate market collapse and the mortgage crisis of 2008, New Jersey homeowners continue to be burdened by financial challenges. Foreclosures have reached the lowest rates in the past decade in many areas of the country, but not in New Jersey where they remain at all-time highs.

The state foreclosure rate is the worst in the nation with one in every 451 homes being in some stage of the foreclosure process. More than 34,000 homeowners who were behind on their mortgage payments saw their homes in this state go into foreclosure in the first 10 months of this year. One reason for the high foreclosure rate is that homeowners in some parts of the state see 50 percent of their income going toward mortgage payments.

Unexpected life events such as unemployment or serious illness can reduce household income and create financial challenges that make it difficult or impossible for a homeowner to remain current in mortgage payments to a lender. Programs to provide funds to distressed homeowners have not eased the financial burdens for people because of a lack of mortgage lender cooperation.

Filing for bankruptcy imposes an automatic stay to stop foreclosure and repossession. Depending upon an individual’s financial situation mortgage modification might present an opportunity to obtain affordable mortgage payments. A Toms River attorney knowledgeable in bankruptcy law might be able to assist a struggling homeowner by suggesting solutions to the financial challenges he or she is facing.

Source: NJ Spotlight, “Foreclosures, Blight Still Too Familiar In Many New Jersey Cityscapes,” Joe Tyrrell, Oct 20, 2017