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NJ Leads Nation in Year-Over-Year Foreclosures [AUDIO]

Foreclosure activity in New Jersey was up 140 percent in October, the highest year-over-year increase in the nation.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

That’s according to a report released today by RealtyTrac. New Jersey was followed by New York and Connecticut.

Nationally, the numbers were down 19 percent year-over-year.

“This is a trend we’ve been seeing in New Jersey over the last few months, primarily because of a backlog of delayed foreclosures that didn’t get processed last year or in 2010. So, the lenders are finally catching up with them and processing them in 2012,” said Daren Blomquist, Vice President of RealtyTrac.

How Will Sandy Affect NJ’s Real Estate Recovery?

“I expect we’ll see the numbers drop back down in November in New Jersey in the wake of Sandy. That will delay a lot of foreclosure activity because some counties have declared a temporary moratorium on foreclosures which will slow down the trend of increases.”

“Unfortunately, I think the combination of foreclosure increases along with the devastation left behind from Sandy is going to really slow down the real estate recovery in New Jersey,” said Blomquist. “While a decrease in the foreclosure rate seems like a good thing, but it’s really a process and these backlogged foreclosures need to be absorbed by the market before the market can stage a robust recovery. So, this is really throwing a wrench in that process and slowing things down. I also think some folks whose homes were damaged may not be able to stay in their homes and fight for them, so they may just walk away. That could increase foreclosure numbers down the road.”

Despite the year-to-year increase in foreclosure activity in New Jersey, the overall rate for the state is not as high when compared to the rest of the country.

“We rank New Jersey number 23 among the states, so it’s in the middle of the pack. New Jersey is still not at the worst of this foreclosure crisis compared to other parts of the country,” said Blomquist.

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