While national foreclosure filings are on the rise, New Jersey filings dropped 41 percent in May from a year ago, RealtyTrac said Wednesday.
The cause for the decline is not entirely clear, and it may not point to any long-term trends, analysts said.
One explanation may be that troubled homeowners are seeking help in modifying their loans before they end up in foreclosure, according to Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, head of New Jersey Citizen Action, which counsels homeowners. The non-profit is continuing to see a high demand for foreclosure counseling, she said.
Another possibility: With mortgage rates dipping below 5 percent last month, more homeowners in distress may have been able to avoid foreclosure by refinancing out of troubled mortgages, said E. Robert Levy, head of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey.
In Bergen County, one in every 1,239 households received some foreclosure filing during the month; in Passaic County, the number was one in every 589.
Nationally, foreclosures were up almost 18 percent from a year ago, RealtyTrac said.
Well at least we have some good news today.