N.J. has highest rate of distressed mortgages in nation, study shows

A greater share of residential mortgages in New Jersey were distressed at the end of the second quarter of this year than any other state in the nation, new data shows.

The data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Delinquency Survey shows 10.2 percent of mortgages in the state are either in foreclosure or at least three months behind on payments, according to Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research with CohnReznick. The national rate stood at 3.95 percent.

O'Keefe wrote in a memo that New Jersey's distressed mortgage rate was the "highest among all states for the seventh consecutive quarter."

The association's survey also shows the percentage of mortgages in New Jersey in the foreclosure process remained top in the nation despite a drop in the state's foreclosure inventory.

"As has been the case since the fourth quarter of 2012, New Jersey, New York, and Florida had the highest percentage of loans in foreclosure in the nation," Marina Walsh, the Mortgage Bankers Association's vice president of industry analysis, said in a statement. 

New Jersey's foreclosure inventory rate was 7.31 percent, according to the report, while New York had the second highest rate at 5.31 percent. The report also noted that both states have a judicial foreclosure process.

"New Jersey's relatively slow pace in reducing it distressed mortgage inventory is partially attributable to its status as a 'judicial foreclosure' state," O'Keefe wrote. "Court supervised foreclosures entail procedures that are more rigorous – and time consuming – than administrative actions."

Florida, which also has a judicial foreclosure process, had a rate of 4.24 percent.

[Original article]