1 in 257 homes in Atlantic City is in foreclosure.
Realty Trak reported in October that Atlantic City has the highest foreclosure rate in the Country (and Trenton is second) (see article here). There was a foreclosure complaint filed on one in every 257 homes in Atlantic City in October. This is four times the National average. Foreclosure filings in Atlantic City rose 14% from September to October.
Atlantic City is suffering from the decline of casino gambling with four major casinos closing resulting in massive lay-offs.
New Jersey overall has one of, if not the, highest rates of foreclosure state wide. Why?
Statewide, 1 in every 171 households have had a foreclosure complaint filed against the property. This is more than double the national average. And not just foreclosure complaints, but New Jersey is first in delinquencies too which is a leading indicator of foreclosures coming.
High Property Taxes.
New Jersey property taxes are the highest in the Nation. Everyone here in New Jersey knows their property taxes are high. And, our roads and bridges continue to crumble and our public transportation system is in a serious need of upgrading. Where is the money going?
Jobs are leaving the State.
High property taxes scare away potential employers and cause existing employers to leave the State to save on wages and corporate property taxes and the general high cost of living. Property taxes have also been a major factor in slowing the recovery in home values keeping them flat or worse following the drop in 2008 and 2009.
After effects of hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy also contributed to a drop in real estate prices and, when coupled with slow or negative job growth, has kept home prices low.
Decline in Atlantic City casino gambling.
Atlantic City has suffered greatly from competition from other States that have opened casino gambling causing casinos to close and workers to be laid-off. According to figures released by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City’s casino industry lost 4,000 jobs in the 12 months prior to August. Subtracting the newly closed Revel, Showboat and Trump Plaza workforces, and the possible 2,800 job losses at Trump Taj Mahal, and the area could soon have nearly 12,000 fewer jobs than it did in August 2013, not taking into account possible new jobs at the remaining casinos.
Christie hasn’t helped.
What has Governor Christie (remember him?) done to help? In short – nothing. There have been a number of policy decisions by the Christie administration that have worsened the foreclosure crisis in New Jersey: In 2012 Christie used the $75 million the state was awarded in a multi-state settlement with banks over mortgage industry abuses to close a budget gap. That same year New Jersey took longer than any other state to give out federal funds for unemployed homeowners who couldn’t pay their mortgages during the recession. New Jersey also didn’t join a lawsuit against Bank of America, which ended in a settlement that provided other states millions of dollars for foreclosure relief.
What Can You Do If Your House Is In Foreclosure?
First, determine if your house is worth saving. Is your loan underwater? Is there hope that the value will recover and you can sell the home in the near term? Is it worth paying what you would have to pay each month if you get a loan modification?
Second, if you determine you want to save your home, apply for a loan modification. If you cannot obtain a loan modification, you may need a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Be careful of scams. With all of the press Atlantic City has received lately, there are plenty of people who will try to take advantage of the situation. Be careful.