starts have turned a corner and have decreased on a year-over-year basis in 11 of the last 12 months, according to ATTOM Data. For all of 2016, foreclosure starts in New Jersey decreased 20 percent. “I would tell you that the volumes are starting to get back to 2006, 2007 levels on the front end,” said Ed Kirn, partner with the Powers Kirn law firm, which specializes in foreclosure in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. “We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The backlog is in the back-end of the house. The sheriff’s sales particularly.” ATTOM data shows the number of properties scheduled for sheriff’s sales in New Jersey increased 14 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, while completed foreclosures that were repossessed by the foreclosing lender (REO) increased 4 percent. “(Our) REO department is really busy now moving a lot of these assets for the lenders,” said Kirn, noting that the lag between when his firm has filed a writ to foreclose and when the property actually goes to sheriff’s sale is starting to compress. “We’re starting to see those times decrease and get somewhat back to normal timeframes. That tells me that the glut has eased up a bit … things are starting to normalize.” Still, Kirn continues to see evidence that the backlog is still being worked through by the banks.
now, some of them have been in as long as five years,” he said. “I have 2010, 2011, 2012 referrals that are finally hitting the sheriff’s sale. So they truly are the backlog cases.” High Property Taxes Hobbling Recovery Kirn noted that despite a general trend upward in home values and prices over the past few years, banks are still often taking a haircut on the legacy foreclosures finally being completed.
… but on some of these REOs the banks are taking a hit. That’s just because these loans have been in default for so long,” said Kirn, noting that unpaid property taxes are a big part of the losses typically realized by banks. “When the property has been in default for five years, that number really explodes.” The average property tax owed on single family homes and condos in New Jersey in 2016 was $8,477, the highest of any state, followed by New York ($6,127), Connecticut ($5,839), New Hampshire
“We’re seeing home prices in general rebound pretty healthily in New Jersey
The ones that are going to REO right now, some of them have been in as long as five years. I have 2010, 2011, 2012 referrals that are finally hitting the sheriff’s sale. So they truly are the backlog cases.”
Ed Kirn | Partner at Powers Kirm law firm Moorestwon, New Jersey
New Jersey Foreclosure Starts Down, Completions Up Foreclosure Starts Scheduled Foreclosure Auctions Bank Repossessions (REO)
“The ones that are going to REO right
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ATTOM Data Solutions • P4
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