Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Uptick in Underwater N.J. Mortgages

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Uptick in Underwater N.J. Mortgages

Article excerpt

Though real estate values have been rising, 13.3 percent of New Jersey homeowners with mortgages still owe significantly more on their homes than the properties are worth, RealtyTrac reported Wednesday.

That's up slightly from 13 percent a year earlier, and higher than the U.S. rate of 11.5 percent, according to RealtyTrac. The California company, which researches the real estate and foreclosure markets, tallied homes that it called "seriously underwater," which it defined as owing at least 25 percent more than the property is worth.

"We continue to deal with a long tail of seriously underwater properties, and it will likely be another five years at least before most of those remaining underwater properties move into positive equity territory," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

About two-thirds of the underwater properties had mortgages dating to 2008 or earlier, a time of loose lending standards in which many borrowers were given mortgages they couldn't afford. …

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