Christie signs bill to expedite foreclosures


Experts react to N.J. bill to expedite foreclosure of vacant homes

State lawmakers have scored a partial victory in their bid to tackle New Jersey’s foreclosure crisis, after Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill that would expedite the process for vacant and abandoned homes.

The law, which Christie signed Thursday, allows judges to enter foreclosure judgments for homes that they find are deserted, easing a costly and time-consuming process for banks. To help judges make their determination, the homes must meet at least two of 15 conditions identified in the legislation, such as overgrown or neglected vegetation and disconnected utility service.

The bill is one of two that the Legislature has passed with the hope of helping the state’s housing market. The other, which would give funding to turn foreclosed houses into affordable housing, has been sent to Christie’s desk but has not been signed.

The fate of the companion bill was still unclear today after Christie vetoed an earlier version of the bill in June. But the enactment of the first bill was a victory for a broad contingent that includes groups like bankers, builders, real estate agents and housing advocates.

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60 Responses to Christie signs bill to expedite foreclosures

  1. grim says:

    Some additional info from PolitickerNJ:


    Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco that would accelerate the foreclosure process on vacant or abandoned property was signed into law today by Governor Christie.

    Bucco’s legislation, S-2156, would establish a summary action to foreclose mortgages on vacant or abandoned properties if courts find convincing evidence that a residential property is deserted during an uncontested foreclosure process.

    “When there is clear evidence and no dispute that a residence is abandoned, we can eliminate bureaucracy and allow the lawful owner to improve a property and remove an eyesore in the community without legal delay,” Bucco, R-Morris and Somerset, said. “This law preserves protections to make sure a property is abandoned without wasting unreasonable time in court.”

    Under the bill, a debtor who no longer resides in an abandoned property will still be afforded their due process right under the Anti-Eviction Act in order to resolve a foreclosure action.

  2. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Non-grim Frist

  3. Juice Box says:

    Bike Lanes! in Jersey City no less! Just be sure to watch out for Kenny Britt.

  4. grim says:

    Yeah, nevermind, I didn’t realize we needed a commercial to tell people how to ride a bike.

  5. Ernest Money says:

    Ok, so we get bike lanes in JC. Where will the sniper turrets be placed?

  6. Ernest Money says:

    Why, oh why, can’t we get bike lanes in to the cities that desperately need them…like Camden?

  7. Fabius Maximus says:

    The biggest need these areas have, is people to help.

  8. Fabius Maximus says:

    And God help Bruce Springsteen when they decide he’s no longer God… They’ll turn on him, and I hope he survives it.

  9. Essex says:


  10. dearabby says:

    kindergartner got a letter from school for gifted and talented classes. first thought was it is a nice thing – gets to go to a couple of classes that may be a more challenging. any pitfalls to be aware of?

  11. cobbler says:

    No pitfalls but usually these programs are quite limited (1-2 hrs a week), so you still need to provide extra enrichment (or pay for it) yourself.

  12. Ernest Money says:

    I’d pay good money to see cobbler enriched with plutonium.

  13. Ernest Money says:

    …a plutonium suppository?

  14. cobbler says:

    You’ll be jailed – likely in SuperMax – for conspiracy to use the WMD. Try baseball bat instead. Also, visit a shrink.

  15. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Back from Jacksonvle yesterday, where I ran a high school acquaintance that I had not seen in 33 years, and off to the Army-Navy Game today. I was told that it was something to see live at least once in your life, and that was absolutely correct.

    The politics of the crowd was evident; they booed Biden at the coin toss and at the halftime field crossing.

  16. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    S/b ran into.

  17. Ragnar says:

    Different school districts treat gifted differently. For some, it’s just extra time in enrichment. For my school district, they get different classes and are possibly bussed to a different school. I’d suggest always taking any gifted/talented stuff the school offers.
    The main drawback would be a concern that after all your child’s work of excelling in school, graduating from a top university, learning a remunerative trade, and then making money in the top 1% of income-earners, collectivists like cobbler and his political representatives turn your child into a human sacrifice to the “less talented”/”less fortunate”.

  18. Outofstater says:

    #7 True. I was in low income neighborhoods in Atlantic City for two weeks. Unlike many areas, the flood damage is not visible from the street but no less dangerous. People are living in their ruined homes with no heat, no electricity and no means to cook other than a charcoal grill outdoors. They have no place to go. There is no housing available. Some of those people, especially the elderly, will die this winter.

  19. Ernest Money says:

    Hey cobbler, why don’t you eat rat poison? And STFU, bitch.

  20. Ernest Money says:

    stater (21)-

    All according to plan.

    “Some of those people, especially the elderly, will die this winter.”

  21. Ernest Money says:

    ragnar (20)-

    Much better to claim disability/hardship/disadvantage, then watch the dolts in public brainwashing fall all over themselves to create disproportionate outcomes for your kid.

    Even more hilarious, these edumacators will actually ignore the truly needy in order to grease the squeaky wheels.

  22. cobbler says:

    Ragnar [20]
    Someone in the top 1% of gross income-earners will most likely stay in the top 1% of after-tax earners even after paying taxes – so the kid will be always better off getting good education and a good job than slacking out. Besides, smart and educated people usually have more enjoyable jobs. Btw, does Bridgewater have a different school for G&T at K+elementary level?

  23. McDullard says:

    Ragnar, you make it sound like the ones that are very smart, highly educated, and very successful are somehow are “sacrificed” for the general good. It’s rhetoric gone wild.

    On another note, the “smarts” for high education are usually different from the “smarts” needed to be financially very successful. A physics PhD from Princeton may end up working for a trader that barely made it through college. Or a bunch of comp.sci and math PhD’s work for guys that dropped out of college.

    Better to be lucky than smart, and better to be liked than be right…

  24. Essex says:

    1. Randall Stephenson, AT&T

    U.S. jobs destroyed since 2007: 54,000

    Average effective federal corporate income tax rate, 2009-2011: 6.3%

    Randall Stephenson presides over the biggest job destroyer among the Fix the Debt corporate supporters, having eliminated 54,000 jobs since 2007. The company also has one of the largest deficits in its worker pension fund — a gaping hole of $10 billion.

    Can Stephenson blame all this belt-tightening on the Tax Man? Not exactly. Over the last three years, AT&T’s tax bills have been miniscule. According to the firm’s own financial reports, they’ve paid Uncle Sam only 6.3 percent on more than $43 billion in profits. If the telecom giant had paid the standard 35 percent corporate tax rate over the last three years, the federal deficit would be $12.5 billion lower.

    So where have AT&T’s profits gone? A huge chunk has landed in Stephenson’s own pension fund. His $47 million AT&T retirement account is the third-largest among Fix the Debt CEOs. If converted to an annuity when he hits age 65, it would net him a retirement check of more than a quarter million dollars every month for the rest of his life.

    While his economic future is more than secure, Stephenson emerged from a meeting with President Obama on November 28 “optimistic” about the chances of reforming (i.e., cutting) Social Security as part of a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

  25. NJGator says:

    Your tax dollars at work: Edison edition

    Law and disorder: Edison’s police force plagued by infighting, lawsuits

    EDISON — From the outside, nothing betrays the image of normalcy. Rows of gleaming squad cars line a gated lot. Flags snap at attention near the front door. Uniformed officers come and go, shift after shift.

    But behind the facade, the officers of the Edison Police Department pursue two missions: fighting crime and tearing each other apart. And it’s not always clear which comes first.

    Office politics have become a black art: of backstabbing and dirty tricks, of spying on comrades and of trolling for dirt on civic officials and their relatives. Lawsuits have become a weapon and a way of life.

    A Star-Ledger investigation encompassing dozens of interviews and thousands of pages of documents — including legal papers, interoffice memos and internal affairs files — reveals an agency in the grip of a grinding civil war that has dragged on for more than three years, shattering morale, eroding the department’s integrity and saddling taxpayers with millions of dollars in legal fees and settlements.

    “Because of what’s been going on, it’s hard for the men to function,” said John Vaticano, a sergeant who retired in disgust last December. “It’s time for people to realize what’s going on in this town. It’s out of control. It’s totally out of control.”

    Among The Star-Ledger’s findings:

    • The internal affairs division conducted investigations far outside the boundaries permitted by state guidelines, gathering intelligence and building dossiers on officers’ relatives and other civilians, including Mayor Antonia Ricigliano and her top adviser.

    The off-the-grid probes represent an “intolerable” breach of public trust and demonstrate an urgent need for outside monitoring, said Wayne Fisher, who wrote the state’s IA guidelines when he served as deputy director of the Division of Criminal Justice.

    “Action must be taken,” Fisher said.

    • At least 15 officers and supervisors — nearly 10 percent of the force — have filed suit against the chief, the mayor, the township or all three, claiming age discrimination, retaliation, harassment or political influence over promotions and demotions. All but two of the suits have been filed in the past three years.
    Legal fees associated with those cases already have surpassed $1.6 million and continue to mount, burdening residents in Edison and hundreds of other New Jersey communities that take part in a taxpayer-funded insurance pool.

    Wayne Mascola, vice president of the township council, expressed disgust at the number of officers filing suit, calling it “an abuse of the system.”

    “They know how to play the game through the legal system,” Mascola said. “They’re like a bunch of little kids. They always want it their way. ‘This guy got it. I gotta get it, too.’ They want it all.”

  26. I hope your life more wonderful

  27. Ernest Money says:

    freedy (31)-

    The ultimate in ticking time bombs that will help blast us back to the 16th century.

  28. Ernest Money says:

    State employees: got Friskies?

  29. 250K says:

    “Ruth M. Wimer, a tax lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery, said the taxes came with “a shockingly inequitable marriage penalty.” If a single man and a single woman each earn $200,000, she said, neither would owe any additional Medicare payroll tax. But, she said, if they are married, they would owe $1,350. The extra tax is 0.9 percent of their earnings over the $250,000 threshold.”

    Over here at the 250K household, its time to really sit down and run the numbers. When you are just barely over the threshold, its really not making a lot of sense to have a dual-income HH. What does the vig on income #2 need to be for it to be “worth it”. Outsourcing childcare, frustrating commuting, running around to stock the pantry shelves on weekends when stores are crowded (we like to pick our own produce). I suppose it is different for every household but if it comes down to an extra vacation each year, who gives a rats arse? Maybe things will look brighter once all the littles are in public school full time?

    “New Taxes to Take Effect to Fund Health Care Law”

  30. McDullard says:

    If you have 250k with single income (after all things are deducted) and spouse gets X amount…

    Just for starters, you can put additional 17k in 401k, child care and medical costs from FICA (5k + 2k), commuter savings plan. Suddenly your AGI goes down fairly close.

    On the other hand, if your gross salary is 250k, you can get your AGI cut to 200k or less just by talking to your HR. You would be a 200k household.

    After that, there are deductions you can take — buy a McMansion and the interest on the mortgage, property taxes, are written off. Put your disposable money in long term investments and get a 15% rate (or 20% proposed — was 39% in Clinton’s time).

    Jobs these days are relatively more flexible with respect to schedule. But the issues of whether to work or not is independent of the 0.9% extra tax and irrespective of whether it is a red team or blue team — you’d still be outsourcing your childcare, you’d still can’t do your produce-picking at leisure (though Costco is not very crowded on weekdays after 8 pm, and some food chains are pretty calm late night — the 24 hour ones are the best, I have shopped many times in the 2 am – 4 am time window, and it’s pleasant).

    I like the premise of the hypothetical couple that gets 200k each (yeah, the 200k jobs are dime a dozen and people aren’t even considering them because… Obama taxes) decide not to work because of 1% tax rates, I’d wager they can negotiate the 1% as a raise more easily.

  31. Ernest Money says:

    God forbid the gubmint tax us less.

  32. Ernest Money says:

    Won’t have to worry about taxes when it all devolves to anarchy.

  33. Afe says:

    Grim, check your inbox when you get a chance.

  34. yome says:

    Ruth M. Wimer, a tax lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery, said the taxes came with “a shockingly inequitable marriage penalty.” If a single man and a single woman each earn $200,000, she said, neither would owe any additional Medicare payroll tax. But, she said, if they are married, they would owe $1,350. The extra tax is 0.9 percent of their earnings over the $250,000 threshold.”

    That is $1350 more in medical tax on a $400,000 income. How much more could it be over 250k income? Is it worth sitting at home bored paying extra hundreds on extra income?

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    EU leaders are in Norway to select the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Given the standards of late I think they should give it to Psy. Hasn’t he also given people hope?

    Oppan Nobel Style!

  36. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [39] yome,

    Were that the only tax, I would probably agree. There are others.

    I’ll be curious to see the effect on this cohort. Especially at the highest end, there is a lot of elasticity. I expect much more deferral with attendant effects on the fisc.

  37. yome says:

    Nom i agree with other taxes but i dont think taxes will be a decision for making more money. If you were offered a million dollar salary do you say just give me 250k coz i will be paying alot of taxes?
    I had same conversation with my BIL years ago. He let his wife quit working, it just goes to taxes. When he realized the wife is spending more than she use to make shopping because of boredom he was quick to tell her look for a job.

  38. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yo [42];

    If you were offered a million dollar salary do you say just give me 250k coz i will be paying alot of taxes?

    What Nom is talking about is — does the second earner in a $250k household even bother getting out of bed in the morning when they get to keep somethign like 20¢ on the dollar? I don’t think so.

    A) We’re not talking about PowerBall here. Somebody is working for that excess money. Its still a job, where there are pressures, expectations of performance. So, the question isn’t, ‘would you turn down $750k in free money because of the tax rate on it?’ That’s a straw man. The question is ‘Do I even get out of bed an haul my cookies in to a job every morning, when at the end of the day I keep less than 20¢ of every dollar I earn?’

    If you consider that, at that level, state and local taxes take about half; then take out the costs associated with working that job.(child care, commuting, wardrobe), that’s what we’re talking about.

    If you think that’s just a cake walk, and people will just grin and bear it, then try it on for size: send me everything over 20% of gross your paycheck every week for as long as you can stand it — when you call uncle, I’ll consider the point conceded.

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [43]. Moose

    Every taxpayers situation will vary. It’s what we refer to as a taxpayer profile. Yome points to a situation that involves an atypical financial input. It operates just as any other input though.

  40. yome says:

    Moose you maybe right if you are making that money now and you will be taking home less but for future higher income, everyone will take the increase regardless of taxes. Remember this are taxes we used to pay before GWB. I understand including me dont want to pay higher taxes but that will not make me lazy getting up to work every morning.

  41. cobbler says:

    When the main breadwinner’s income is well into 6 digits (we are talking AGI upwards of 250K), whether the partner goes back to work is determined more by her desire to do things outside of the house and be valued by the people outside of the immediate family, than by some desperate need to bring home more money. The 20 cents on the $ you are talking about (depending on a job it could be from zero to $0.50) is still more than paying for the same wardrobe and childcare and doing the volunteer work – which is how your PTO and first aid squad are run…

  42. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    My 15 YO niece just posted her semiformal pic on FB. Omifrigginggod. I posted that as her godfather, I was getting ready to go Michael Corleone on someone. Also, her dad is a surgeon who grew up poor in Queens as a first generation Italian American, so between us, we can make the bodies disappear.

    She professed some concern. I said don’t be concerned, just make sure your dates can read this. That got a 10-4.

  43. Essex says:

    46. Pensions are helpful too.

  44. Juice Box says:

    re:” $250k household”

    Irrelevant number just like AMT baloney from the 1960s.

    Over the next few year $250k will be in the rear view mirror. Single or double income household will pay more now and more later.

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  46. 250k says:

    Nom and Moose understand my original point I believe. My handle is fairly precise. This is not an issue of Spouse A working at a hedge fund and bringing home $500k a year with Spouse B bringing in an additional $100k, whoa is us, is it all worth the effort?

    This is a Spouse A brings home $140k as a mid-level exec plus Spouse B brings home $120k as a mid-level exec and AMT plus all the other taxes start to get lobbed on and you take a % here and a % there and one of you only sees the kids on weekends while the other bears responsibility for getting home on time to relieve the daycare situation and trains suck and time is limited and transit, taxes, and general cost of living keeps going up X+Y% each year while raises have been X% in a good year of late and 0% on occasion and…. is it worth the “pain and suffering” if you will so that we can save up for the trip to Disney or what have you and get a new car every 8 years instead of 10 and pay for the kids to go to college when in reality, we have too many kids and at the rate tuition goes up vs. our salaries, we likely will ever save enough anyway but have just enough to make financial aid impossible. Blah blah blah. I don’t expect anyone to play a tiny violin for us. We know how lucky we are by most standards but we are that upper middle class getting squeezed. The poor don’t give a cr*p because we are still “rich” (at least the government tells us we are) and guys like Buffet say tax us more cause we can afford it but we can’t afford his accountants.

  47. McDullard says:

    Moose, the 20% take home is a ridiculously low number — it is more likely for a McJob, where if you factor in child care (5 to 6k tax exempt, but real cost is way more than that), and extra taxes (36% fed + 7% st + 7.5% fica), you are getting to a small number. Or some form of non-profit work, where the work itself is a big deal.

    So, if the question is “will a spouse of a millionaire with young kids take up a McJob where the kids will have to go to a daycare?”, the answer is, most likely not — irrespective of whether the top tax rate is 36% or 39% (unless the situation is like the “sleeping with the enemy” movie).

    Now, start adding in goodies for a rewarding job — will the same spouse start a company with initial losses, but something that may be one of the next big things? What if the grandparents are around to help with kids? What if kids are 18+ already? What if the social circle is too “stepford-ish” and the spouse would simply like to get a break from that? Too many individual-to-individual variations… Also, what if the 250k spouse gets laid off — like in 2008?

  48. McDullard says:

    250k, given your numbers, 140k + 120k + the daily grind, the proposed policies of no raises under 250k definitely do not apply to you guys — assuming you take advantage of some of the common benefits from work place (401k, flex spending, commuter tax save). Even if there are no benefits, you can get closer to 200k AGI in a snap.

    Take it positively or negatively, but the fact is that you aren’t “rich” in the context of the current tax rate debate (I usually think it is a positive when my house’s tax assessment comes down — and also know some people that feel bad that their house is losing value).

    “Too many kids” part can change the equation significantly, but one gets an extra tax exemption for each kid, so the tax rate can become zero quickly :)

  49. cobbler says:

    250k [51]
    Your situation (as of many others) is certainly worse than the one of the same (relatively) income family say 30 years ago… the reasons for that largely intersecting with my griping two days ago about Walmart and Bell Labs. Still, there are millions of families in this state where both members are working as hard as you but make 1/2 or 1/3 of the money… Should we tax them more?

  50. cobbler says:

    New Jersey foreclosure numbers are high for a reason
    By Tom De Poto/The Star-Ledger on December 09, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    The housing market received some good economic news last week: Foreclosures are down dramatically. A monthly report by CoreLogic showed the number of homes that foreclosed nationwide dropped 17 percent from last year.

    But the news isn’t as cheerful in New Jersey, where the figure went up more than a percentage point.

    New Jersey ranks behind only Florida in the percentage of homes in foreclosure, according to CoreLogic. Nationwide, 3.2 percent of homes with mortgages are in the process of defaulting. In New Jersey, it’s 7.7 percent.

    “Take a look at the unemployment rate,” said Anthony Graziano, executive director of Integra Realty Resources-Coastal New Jersey. “Take a look at where housing prices are, at property taxes, and you can see why we are where we are. It’s self-evident.”

    He noted that New York, Connecticut and Maryland also have a large inventory of homes in foreclosure.

    “We have high salary levels in this part of the country,” he said. “When your unemployment rate skyrockets, a lot of high-end people are laid off. Sooner or later, it catches up.”

    Legislation also sponsored by Lesniak and Green was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie that would expedite the process on abandoned and dilapidated properties.

    But Graziano, of Integra, remained skeptical.

    “To buy for affordable housing, you need to look at the lower-priced product,” he said. “That’s not where the stress is. The big foreclosure market is in the $400,000-$500,000 price range.”

    Some readers’ comments are quite depressing…

  51. Ernest Money says:

    250k (51)-

    You are stuck in a group of taxpayers that the gubmint intends to destroy. Sorry.

    Get back to work, donkey.

  52. JJ's B.Se says:

    Hey in between fiscal cliff debate. Exactly what is the going rate in LI/NJ for a licensed electrician or plumber.

    Do they have a normal hourly rate they use?

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