Highlights Governor�s Failure To Mitigate Foreclosure Crisis
TRENTON � New Jersey suffered the greatest increase in mortgage foreclosures in the country last year during the same time the national rate decreased, according to a new report released on Thursday, providing more documentation of �a foreclosure crisis that has been made worse by the actions and inactions of the Christie Administration,� Senator Raymond Lesniak said. Foreclosures in New Jersey surged by 55 percent in 2012 over the previous year, while the rate fell by 2.7 percent nationwide, according to RealtyTrac, a national real estate research firm.
�This is more evidence of a mortgage foreclosure crisis in New Jersey that has been made worse by failure of the Christie Administration to respond in a timely or effective way,� said Senator Lesniak. �We have one of the highest rates of foreclosures in the country and it is getting worse in New Jersey while it improves elsewhere. The administration�s mismanagement of the federal fund intended to prevent foreclosures and the Governor�s refusal to enact legislation designed to alleviate the crisis have been contributing factors.�
Senator Lesniak is the author of a three-bill �Mortgage Foreclosure Transformation Plan� that would force the rapid and effective use of the $300 million in federal money to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and two bills that would help expedite the process of getting abandoned properties back on the market. The Governor vetoed the bills earlier last year. Last month, he signed one into law.
�New Jersey was awarded $300 million by the federal government to help those threatened with foreclosure keep their homes but the administration mismanaged the program,� said Senator Lesniak. �A report by the Special Inspector General for TARP found that only 10 percent of the funds were used and only 750 homeowners were helped.�
An estimated 100,000 New Jersey homeowners are currently faced with foreclosure, according to published reports.
�Unfortunately, the foreclosure crisis is just one of the terrible trends that have been ignored by the Governor, along with decade�s high unemployment, a growing poverty rate, a shrinking middle class, less access to health care and a hostile attitude towards the needs of women.� said Senator Lesniak. �He needs to do better and he needs to do more to help turn these trends around.�