New Jersey Residents in Foreclosure Face a Scary Reality Just in time for Halloween

When hearing the term “Vampire house” or “Zombie Home,” many Americans would think of the haunted houses springing up just in time for Halloween. However, these two terms do not refer to the fake ghosts and goblins that surround us during October, but rather refer to the sad reality of many New Jersey residents whose homes are in foreclosure.

A “vampire house” is the term referred to when describing a home that has gone through foreclosure, is owned by the bank, yet the previous owner still resides. A real estate firm coined the term considering this to be a frightening occurrence. reports that one in every two homes in New Jersey that have gone through foreclosure are considered to fall under the eerie term.

Under New Jersey law, a resident may remain in their house up to 45 days after the property has been foreclosed on. Most residents however remain since the average time of processing a foreclosure is 1,002 days according to RealtyTech. That average may be influenced by the fact that New Jersey is one of 17 states that require foreclosure to go through the court system. With a large number of homes currently in foreclosure that is an obscene amount of paperwork for the courts to process.

“Zombie homes,” are slightly different. Zombie homes are houses that are undergoing foreclosure but have been abandoned by their previous owners. These zombie homes vastly outnumber the population of vampire houses, with a staggering amount of 14,000.

The most affected areas in New Jersey are Cape May and Hudson County. 82 and 79 percent respectively of the counties foreclosure population are now vampire houses. The highest zombie counties are Camden, Gloucester, and Somerset, having 69, 64, and 62 percent of their foreclosure homes abandoned.

With the prices of houses increased, the banks are likely to want to sell houses sooner rather than later to acquire as much money as possible for the homes. So New Jersey’s un-dead population may be on the move.