NEW JERSEY 101.5

New Jersey's foreclosure rate is moving in the opposite direction of the nation's as lenders deal with a backlog of delayed filings.

Foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 133,919 U.S. properties in October, a 28 percent decrease from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.

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In New Jersey, though, foreclosure filings jumped nearly 29 percent from the same time last year. One in every 929 housing units received a foreclosure notice last month.

"The foreclosure rate in New Jersey ranks #13 among all the states in October, and if you look at a year ago, the New Jersey rate was at #23," explained Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac Vice President.

Blomquist said all the states that are lagging in recovery have a common denominator - a judicial foreclosure process which requires each foreclosure become a case that gets reviewed by a judge.

The process had been susceptible to delays and actually came to a halt in New Jersey at one point for legal reasons, but early last year, a lifted moratorium and a $25 billion settlement sent the process into overdrive.

"The backlog of delayed judicial foreclosures continues to make its way through the pipeline," Blomquist said.

New Jersey has experienced a year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity for 19 of the past 20 months.

Blomquist said in a housing market where one of the challenges is a lack of inventory, buyers can see the upside of increased foreclosure activity - more inventory to choose from.