From the Philly Inquirer:
The number of U.S. houses left vacant because of foreclosure was down at the start of the second quarter compared with the same period last year. But New Jersey’s share of these “zombies” continues to be tops in the nation, real estate information provider RealtyTrac said Thursday.
Zombie homes are defined as houses that mortgage borrowers vacated for which the foreclosure process was never completed.
In the United States overall, just 19,187, or 4.7 percent, of residential properties in the foreclosure process were zombies as of May, according to the Irvine, Calif., company, which monitors foreclosures nationwide. New Jersey claimed 4,003 of them. Pennsylvania had 572.
In South Jersey, zombies totaled 1,268 as of May, making up 11.2 percent of homes in foreclosure in Burlington County, 9.4 percent in Camden County, and 8 percent in Gloucester County.
RealtyTrac reported that Gloucester County had the fewest foreclosures, 2,975, and the fewest zombies, 237. Burlington County had 468 zombies among its 4,185 houses in foreclosure.
Only Camden County showed a year-over-year decline, 5.5 percent, in the number of zombies. Of the region’s three South Jersey counties, it had the most foreclosures, 5,967, and the most zombies, 563.
Typically, New Jersey has a roughly three-year timeline for moving houses in foreclosure’s many stages through the courts. At an average 1,103 days, it is the longest in the country. (Pennsylvania’s timeline is about 554 days.) High volume has exacerbated the Garden State’s situation, lawyers and experts say.