Since the Wall Street crash in 2008, many states have been hit with high numbers of foreclosures, which normally means the owners are evicted and have to find a new place to live in 30 days.
However, in New Jersey, the foreclosure process can take an average of 1,000 days and home owners can actually live in their foreclosed homes for years and not pay any bills (video below).
These homeowners are often demonized by the mortgage and banking industry, which calls them "vampires."
Given the recent verdict against Bank of America's Countrywide mortgage firm, it's more than ironic that homeowners are being stigmatized.
A New York jury recently found that Countryside was guilty of knowing selling bad home loans to the government's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now, Bank of America is liable for up to $848 million because it bought Countrywide, when the company was going down the tubes a few years ago, notes The Guardian.
According to MY 9 NJ, homeowner Christine Saia has lived in her home since 2008 without paying her mortgage, but she did try to work out a deal with her bank, which refused to make a deal.
In Hudson and Cape May, N.J. a whopping 80 percent of homeowners, who were foreclosed, continue to live in their homes for years.
Why is the foreclosure process so long in the state?
Lawsuits by homeowners often reveal that mortgage companies and banks don't follow the law in the foreclosure process. So they have to begin the entire process over from the beginning, which can be time consuming, especially if the mortgage has been sold multiple times.
The mortgage companies and banks don't bother to forcibly kick the owner out because it's free upkeep and the home is easier to sell in good condition.
Sources: The Guardian and MY 9 NJ