New Jersey

New Jersey led the nation in foreclosure starts in the second quarter, as the mortgage industry continues to deal with a backlog of loans that went bad in the housing crash.

Lenders started foreclosure proceedings on 0.75 percent of mortgages in the state during the quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this week. That compares with a national rate of 0.32 percent, the lowest rate since 2000.

And about 11.6 percent of New Jersey mortgages were either in foreclosure or delinquent on payments during the quarter. While that number is down from 13.6 percent in the second quarter of 2015, it is still almost twice the national rate of 6.3 percent, according to the MBA.

The worst of the foreclosure crisis has passed in most of the nation. But the process has been delayed in New Jersey because the state requires lenders to go through the courts to evict homeowners who default. In addition, the state slowed down foreclosure activity several years ago while the mortgage industry answered allegations of abusing homeowners’ rights.

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