In the past six months, an eerie feeling has settled in the offices of housing counselors and attorneys who confront the foreclosure crisis head-on and help distressed homeowners in New Jersey. The phone hasn’t been ringing any less than it did at the height of the storm, but what is about to hit may be greater than anything the group has seen so far.
Foreclosure filings are down 86 percent so far this year from last, owing in part to a December crackdown by the state’s chief justice that effectively halted proceedings by the country’s biggest mortgage lenders and service companies, according to court data. But lenders are waiting to file an estimated 28,500 foreclosures, and another 55,000 mortgage loans are currently more than 90 days delinquent, according to LPS Applied Analytics, a real estate data firm that tracks mortgage performance. At the current rate, it would take 49 years for banks to clear the logjam of mortgage loans that are currently in the foreclosure process or are more than 90 days delinquent, LPS found.
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