Thursday, February 12, 2009

NJ Foreclosures Dip

Big news on the front page of today's Record Business section - Housing picture brighten just a bit. The headlines are just as good as the sub-head Dip in foreclosures follow federal efforts. Guess this had nothing to do with the foreclosure moratorium both on the federal and state levels. Since modifications are not being done in any significant numbers and job losses are mounting where else would such a dip come from? Lets take a look at the article and find out how they explain things -

The number of New Jersey homes in some stage of foreclosure dropped more than 2 percent in January over a year ago, according to a California company that tracks foreclosures nationwide.

RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, Calif., said one in every 699 New Jersey homes is in some sort of foreclosure.

January's slight drop in foreclosures comes after a year in which foreclosure filings doubled to 62,500 properties.

Foreclosures rose about 180 percent in Bergen and Passaic counties in 2008. Nationwide, the number of foreclosures fell 10 percent from December but was still up 18 percent in January compared with January 2008.

James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive officer, attributed the 10 percent decrease in January from December to "extensive" lender and governmental foreclosure efforts — particularly a moratorium on all foreclosure sales by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that extended through January — and similar efforts by Florida.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that John Reich, director of the federal Office of Thrift Supervision, urged 800 thrift institutions to suspend foreclosures while President Obama's top economic advisers develop plans to keep borrowers in their homes.

So they are from the moratorium rather than any real changes or improvements. Suspending foreclosures only helps in that the lenders do not have more property on their books. It really only adds to the problems in the big picture - while lenders may not have the properties on their books they are not receiving their money either, which is after all how they make money and stay in business. Well, at least when we are not giving them our tax money.

The big question is if this moratorium will forestall the problem long enough for the stimulus stabilization to take affect or will everything just collapse eventually? Will it work???

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