Don't pay your bills -- good. Try to foreclose on people who haven't paid their mortgage in years -- bad. That's the message of this misguided New Jersey legislation that would add an $800 surcharge to every foreclosure court complaint filed by banks in the state. The average foreclosure filing in New Jersey takes THREE YEARS to go from initial filing to auction. This bill is meant to deter foreclosures, and not emphasized is its other desire, which is to keep absolute deadbeats in their homes.
Let's get something straight. Someone who is still living in a house rent-free or mortgage-free for years is not a victim. The people across the street cutting back and struggling to pay those bills on time every month? Those are the victims. But I digress.
Of course, the real cost will be borne by everyone else. As it gets more expensive to get a loan (because the cost is passed on to borrowers) buyers' purchasing power will decline and home values will drop. This bill helps today's deadbeats, at the expense of tomorrow's home buyers.