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Foreclosures, Farewell?


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Reaching For A HomeMaybe, just maybe, the worst of the real estate recession is behind us. The number of Verona houses in some stage of foreclosure is falling.

Even before the global economy became unhinged in August 2008, a growing number of Verona home owners were struggling to make their mortgage payments. As we reported last year, the number of defaults–the lending industry’s term for mortgages that are in arrears–climbed steadily through 2006 and 2007, and Verona began seeing what it had rarely seen in the past: Homes at auction and repossessed by their lenders. For the first 11 months of 2009–which was all the data we had when MyVeronaNJ.com last looked at foreclosures in Verona–there were 40 defaults (a condition also known as pre-foreclosure), nine auctions and six REOs, the industry’s shorthand for real estate owned by a lender.

In recent months, several people have come to the podium at Town Council meeting to plead for tax relief because, they said, the number of foreclosures was so high. But data from RealtyTrac, a California company that monitors foreclosures nationwide, paints a different picture. While 51 Verona homes were in default in 2010, only four went to auction and none were repossessed. That compares with nine auctions and six REOs for the first 11 months of 2009.

The market has healed further in the first six months of 2011: Only seven homes were in default, one went to auction and no homes were repossessed.

Let’s be clear, we are not back to 2005, when even the crummiest house in Verona was getting multiple bids for $50,000 over an already elevated asking price. You need only run your house through the “Zestimate” calculator on Zillow to know how much real estate ground we have lost. And many folks think our property tax rate is too close to Montclair’s for comfort. But while one in every 248 homes in California is in some stage of foreclosure and one of every 372 homes in Florida is in trouble, only one in every 2,971 homes in New Jersey is in jeopardy. According to Realty Trac, the highest rates of foreclosure are in Sussex, Cumberland and Salem counties, respectively, while the lowest are in Hunterdon, Morris and Bergen counties. In Essex County, one of every 2114 homes is in some stage of foreclosure, which is still below the state average. The map below shows where we stand compared to our neighboring towns.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. Very informative and enlightening story. Perhaps those who offer comments at the podium might now be more inclined to check their facts before doing so.


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