No Spring for Sussex

From the New Jersey Herald:

Foreclosures spur help for homeowners

Faced with a foreclosure rate among the highest in the country, Sussex County officials took the first steps in a program designed to bring help to homeowners before the bank calls about late payments.

The freeholders asked department Administrator Stephen Gruchacz to look at ways his department can take a proactive approach to the problem and suggested the Housing Partnership as a starting point since former Freeholder Sue Zellman was executive director at the Dover-based organization before her retirement. The Housing Partnership is a HUD-certified counseling agency for mortgage delinquency and default resolution.

Gruchacz said the department has also begun talks with several mortgage companies and banks seeking a way to include information along with the monthly mortgage statements and is looking at ways to involve the Federal Housing Administration, which provides mortgage insurance on homes, among other services.

Sheriff Mike Strada, whose office handles auctions of foreclosed properties, the final step in a lengthy foreclosure proceeding, said currently 450 foreclosures are in the department’s system, meaning a court has issued a writ of foreclosure and the property can now be sold.

By the time his department gets a court writ to sell at auction, “it’s taken two to five years to get through the system,” and, he said, “something like 99 percent are going back to the bank (at auction) because there isn’t a bid.”

Most of the properties have a higher mortgage than the market value of property, making it unlikely to attract a buyer looking for a bargain.

He said the latest numbers given to him during a staff meeting — pulled from — indicate New Jersey has the sixth highest rate of foreclosures among states and Sussex County has the highest foreclosure rate among New Jersey 21 counties.

Freeholder Rich Vohden, who has been following demographic trends in Sussex County since late 2013, uses the number of lis pendens, the formal notice from the lender that the borrower has fallen two payments behind, as his gauge.

Vohden said as of March 31, there were 9,131 lis pendens in Sussex County, an increase of 132 over the first of the month.

“I’m not being negative, I’m just reciting the facts,” he said. “I think it’s important we know where we are before we can decide how to go forward.”

He said the number of foreclosure proceedings “ties into all the other issues, such as the drop in home values, the drop in property valuation, even the loss of population.”

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, Foreclosures, North Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to No Spring for Sussex

  1. D says:

    First! & Happy Easter- off to Florida!

  2. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Fast eddie, did you read the opening article? Now you know where the bag holders are and it’s not Bergen County.

    Happy Easter all.

  3. Fast Eddie says:

    Fast eddie, did you read the opening article? Now you know where the bag holders are and it’s not Bergen County.

    The ratio of underwater bagholders is the same in Bergen County as it is in Sussex County. The only difference is that the BC residents can make the payments. They can’t sell but they can continue keeping the dead asset breathing.

  4. Fast Eddie says:

    Happy Easter all!

  5. NJT says:

    Today’s title post reminds me of the Gilligan’s Island theme song:

    “…This is the tale of our castaways they’re here for long, long time, they’ll have to make the best of things, it’s an uphill climb.”.

    Off to collect rent from someone using the 5 day window.

    Happy egg day.

  6. Liquor Luge says:

    Collecting rent on Easter. My kind of landlord.

    Don’t forget your baseball bat.

  7. Libturd at home says:

    Speaking of collecting rent on Easter. Bottom tenants are in and the consecutive 7 in a row streak of all tenants driving a Subaru has been maintained. In other news, the upstairs apartment is about to be rented so our streak of never losing more than a month of rent between tenants has been maintained as well. I’m not sure what this couple drives, but at least they don’t have kids. Yet.

  8. Ragnar says:

    Juice Box,
    I don’t understand that “office work” article. I’m pretty sure the author also had no clue what it was about. Bell Labs offices were once full of secretaries that have now been replaced by AI? In the late 90s they seemed mostly full of scientists doing a bad job of converting research into products that had customers. Maybe they should think a little bit about the bigger picture of why NJ is so poor at attracting new business to replace the dying businesses.

  9. yome says:

    Re: Labor Participation Rate
    I was just saying, Labor Participation rate is not a good metric to measure how the Economy is doing
    When GWB took office LPR have started to come down in 2000. It went from 67% to 66% when he left office. Great Recession to today LPR is at 62.7%. LPR counts everyone above 16.This includes retirees.
    Seniors under 65 that are not qualified for Medicare and force to work for Health Insurance are able to retire early due to OCare.
    Couples that can handle one income choose to leave the workforce to take care of Children or family
    People that lost their jobs and choose to not work bale to survive one income.

    There are 93.2M Americans not in Labor Force. Only 6M are looking and cant find a job. The rest decided not to work for their own reason not because they can not find a job and milk the system. NJ unemployment is back to 6.5 months .Snap depends on income and need to be re applied every 3 months.

  10. yome says:

    Smaller labor participation is supposed to be good for the people that want work and cant find one and for the people that are working. The supply of worker is smaller and they can demand more payment which we start to see today. No?

  11. Liquor Luge says:

    Yome (11)- don’t you have some spelling homework that needs to be done for tomorrow?

  12. Ragnar says:

    This rationalization will only hold true while a leftist remains president. After that, it will become a pressing social issue.

  13. grim says:

    I forgot what writer came up with the premise, but having seen it, makes perfect sense to me … paper. It’s mostly all gone at this point.

    Anyone Gen X or older that’s spent appreciable time in a corporate setting can see the change.

    Offices used to have armies dedicated to paper, armies dedicated to making sure printers kept printing. Hell, we had trucks that moved tons of paper. Massive printers. Place I worked at years back would print out general and account ledgers for every client every week. It was cases of fan-feed for just one client. We kept everything, in duplicate and triplicate. We spent thousands of dollars every week shipping paper around the country, we received full container trucks full of paper, we had thousands of HON cabinets lining every room, office, and hallway, tens of thousands of square feet of warehouse space was paper. Every night reports were printed, every morning they were delivered to hundreds of desks. Not only was there a mailroom (what the hell is a mail room?), but it was staffed with 20+ guys. Accounting and finance were armies.

    Paperless office, it would be a revolution, we all laughed as we nearly suffocated under the paper. And then quietly, it happened. No revolution, no war, no screams of anguish, the paper just all went away. The printers died and were never replaced, the mail room shut down. Instead, now maybe there are a half dozen letters delivered to the front-desk on any day, and most just go into the garbage. The file cabinets are mostly gone, probably scrap to China. Today, tell someone you need something in hard copy and they look at you sideways.

    Looking back when we had about 700 employees in North Jersey, I’d say about 50% of them had a “doing something with paper” as a primary job responsibility.

  14. NJT says:

    And all the summer temp. college girls disappeared, too. :(.

  15. NJT says:

    #7 Sorry (not). Ham and egg day doesn’t mean discount. I think grandma chipped in.

    Living’ ain’t all fun and games, kiddies.

  16. Fabius Maximus says:


    Some are calling to give Charlie Adam goal of the season, I’m nominating this.

    And really, “Prawn Sandwich”, is that the best you can come up with? From just reposting Zero Hedge, to stealing insults from Royston Keene.

  17. Fabius Maximus says:

    #16 Eddie Ray (Previous thread).

    “There’s a reason you shouldn’t offer legal analysis. It’s the same reason I don’t code.”

    From that answer I’m not sure you qualify for either. Should I rename you Lionel Hutz?

  18. Fabius Maximus says:

    #16 Eddie Ray (Previous thread).

    “You do know those titles are self-appointed, ”

    No Sh1t Sherlock?

  19. Fabius Maximus says:

    Nice to see someone calling out Netanyahu. Israel would be a better place if they came of the far right and went center. But you get the government you elect!

  20. Fabius Maximus says:

    #14 grim,

    Yes and no. Fanfold went to PDF and a lot of those still hit the printer. There are a lot of people that still need the tactile output to do their job.
    I’m sure Lib is still churning out paper, despite the rise of eProxy.

  21. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “While the U.S. avoided even greater austerity, there is no question that the bitter fiscal fights that led to near-default and the first ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating in 2011 and the “fiscal cliff” fight at the end of 2012 crushed business and consumer confidence and delayed the recovery. Democrats lay all the blame for this at the foot of Republicans. But economists outside Washington generally blame both the White House and Congressional Republicans for engaging in scorched earth political battle that damaged the economy.
    “Business confidence basically tanked after all that and it’s taken a long time to come back and get capital spending started again,” said Bovino.”

    Read more:

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