By David Levinsky
The housing market may have improved some, but the latest available foreclosure statistics show that many Burlington County families continue to be in danger of losing their homes.
According to the website RealtyTrac.com, one out of every 855 homes in the county was in foreclosure proceedings in May, the fifth-highest rate among New Jersey's 21 counties. Only Sussex, Atlantic, Camden and Union had higher rates.
Help for families in foreclosures as well as others facing difficulties with mortgage payments will be available Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during a Burlington County housing expo at the Kennedy Center on John F. Kennedy Way in Willingboro.
Hosted by Congressman Jon Runyan, the daylong event will feature talks by federal, state and local agencies about available assistance programs as well as the latest scams.
Representatives from several area banks and loan providers also will participate and be available for one-on-one conferences with homeowners seeking loan modifications or answers to specific questions.
A similar housing expo that was organized and hosted by the congressman in March attracted more than 400 people. Some were able to get their mortgages modified at the event.
With foreclosures still a big problem in the county and across New Jersey, Runyan said it made sense for his office to organize another expo.
"Many families throughout our state and region are struggling in the current housing markets," Runyan, R-3rd of Mount Laurel, said Tuesday. "Across New Jersey, the communities struggling most to rebound from the housing crisis are those in our state's southern counties, Burlington among them. Foreclosures devastate families and destroy communities, and many struggling homeowners are unaware of their options. This housing expo will help homeowners understand the foreclosure process and the options available to them."
The following loan service providers will be on-site at the expo: Fannie Mae, PNC Bank, JPMorgan/Chase, Wells Fargo, Beneficial Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, PHH Mortgage and Ocwen Loan Servicing.
Homeowners planning to attend the conference who are interested in speaking one-on-one with a representative from their loan provider are encouraged to call their provider to schedule an appointment in advance.