NJ Homeowners Still Haunted by the Past Home Foreclosure Crisis

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Foreclosure left an indelible mark on New Jersey residents. According to NPR, a decade after the housing crisis, “zombie houses” still remain. These are houses in the foreclosure process, or which have since been abandoned. In fact, NPR estimates that no state has as many of these houses remaining per capita as New Jersey. There were roughly 17,000 of these homes in the state.

Neighbor New York is nearly as bad, but around the rest of the country, the numbers are on the decline. One of the reasons these two states get such a hard hit is because both have measures in place to slow down foreclosure and protect homeowners. This can cause the foreclosure process to take about three years on average. These abandoned houses, in turn, affect the value of the other homes around them, making it difficult for homeowners to sell if they wish to move.

MarketWatch puts forward that homeownership has yet to recover from the financial crisis. Many experts focus their attention on millennials and how late they purchase their first homes compared to prior generations. However, the truth is that prior generations have not fully recovered from the loss themselves. Many retirees and retirees-to-be lost their homes and are only just picking up the pieces.

In 2004, 69.2% of American households owned their homes. In 2018, this figure stood at just 64.3%. Blacks and Hispanics have the lowest homeownership rates at 41.6% and 46.6% respectively. Many people blame this on economic disparities by race. Economists estimate that a Black family has $5 in wealth for every $100 in a White family.

Foreclosures also affect the quality of life for families. Those who lost equity in their homes lost the opportunity to use that money to fund a small business or pay for their children’s student loans. Economists believe this contributed to the current student loan crisis