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.