New data shows that total U.S. foreclosure filings hit their lowest point since 2007 during the first quarter of 2012. 2007 is generally considered to be the year when the economic crisis began.
All told, there were approximately 573,000 foreclosure filings in January, February and March 2012, an 11 percent drop from the same period last year.
Unfortunately, the news isn’t as good as it might seem on first glance. March brought an increase in the number of newly initiated foreclosures, signaling concern that the housing crisis may not be ending quite yet.
In fact, some experts predict a surge of foreclosure filings in the near future. The concern over misdeeds by mortgage servicers put foreclosure proceedings on hold in many jurisdictions. Now that those issues have been worked out, rates will likely start to rise again.
New Jersey Foreclosures
The data does show that New Jersey is performing better than the rest of the country.
New Jersey ranked 39th in the number of total foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2012. Its rate of foreclosure filings was 37 percent lower than the nationwide average. Once the March uptick hit, New Jersey fell to 35th place.
On average, it now takes 966 days for a home to move all the way through the New Jersey foreclosure process.
New Jersey homeowners who are behind in their mortgage payments have a number of options that could help them avoid foreclosure, or at the very least minimize its negative effects. Some of those options include bankruptcy, short sales, loan modification or stripping a second mortgage.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “U.S. Foreclosure Filings Fall to Lowest Point Since 2007,” Alan J. Heavens.