From the APP:
Superstorm Sandy is still wreaking havoc in New Jersey nearly 21/2years after it moved away from the Jersey Shore. And the bureaucracy in New Jersey has made things worse.
Hundreds of families forced from their homes during Sandy now face a new storm: foreclosure They are finding it increasingly difficult, if not downright impossible, to pay the mortgage on their still unrepaired homes while continuing to pay the rent on their temporary residences. It is time for Trenton to take up this fight on behalf of those who are in danger of losing their homes altogether.
What they don’t need is Gov. Chris Christie’s administration simply saying, ad nauseum, that it is working on the problem. What they do need is to work to overcome the hurdles that have stalled a bill introduced in December by Sen. Jeff Van Drew that would have prevented homes damaged by superstorm Sandy from being foreclosed on for three years.
Objections were raised to some provisions in the bill, including the fact it would apply to first and second homes. But the objections need to be resolved, not ignored.
An Asbury Park Press analysis published Sunday identified 305 Sandy-affected homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties that have been pushed into the property-seizure process during the first 10 months of 2014. Through October of last year, there were 46,000 foreclosure filings in New Jersey and one in seven of those homes in distress was in Monmouth and Ocean counties, according to the state Administrative Office of the Courts.
Foreclosures are up 15 percent compared to the same period in 2013. About one in nine mortgage loans in the state — or nearly 100,000 properties — is distressed, meaning it is either in foreclosure or 90 days in arrears for payments. New Jersey, by percentage, has more distressed properties than any state in the nation.
There are many reasons for that dubious distinction, including the snail’s pace of state and federal aid for Sandy victims, combined with paltry insurance payouts and slow-moving rebuilding programs.