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New Jersey leads the nation in percentage of foreclosures

Residential foreclosure rates have generally dropped to below what they were prior to the recession a decade ago, and they are continuing to fall. However, the good news doesn't extend to all states, including New Jersey.

On average nationwide in March of this year, there was a foreclosure filing on one out of every 1,604 homes. In New Jersey, by comparison, that number was one out of every 497. That gives our state the unfortunate distinction of having the highest foreclosure rate in the country. In further bad news, a year prior to that, in March 2016, we were at number three.

The ten states with the highest foreclosure rates included six others on the east coast, all the way from Connecticut to Florida. The number two spot was held by Maryland, which still had considerably few foreclosures than New Jersey -- one in every 820 homes.

We've previously discussed the impact of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's foreclosure rate. Many New Jersey homeowners are still struggling to recover from the financial devastation, including bankruptcy, caused by the damage to or complete destruction of their homes.

Earlier this year, Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill passed by the state legislature that could provide protection from foreclosure to thousands of Sandy victims. However, he was not, as he made clear, happy about it.

The ever-blunt governor said, "I have chosen to sign it to give Sandy victims the morsels of relief this vanity exercise of a bill offers." He described the bill as filled with "empty promises" and said "the executive branch will use our authority to provide real solutions based on facts, not emotion or political grandstanding."

A foreclosure can have a serious impact on your credit rating and your ability to obtain credit in the future. If you're facing foreclosure, it's essential to know all of the potential options that are available to you and to work to minimize the damage to your credit. An experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney can provide important guidance.

Source: USA Today, "10 states where foreclosure woes linger," Constance Brinkley-Badgett, Credit.com, accessed May 09, 2017

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