NJ Officials Scramble With Spike in Foreclosures

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In New Jersey, the spike in foreclosures has officials scrambling to deal with what often comes next - abandonment and worse. WNYC's Bob Hennelly reports.

REPORTER: Paterson Mayor Jose Torres says having well over 2,000 properties in foreclosure undermines his city in several ways.

TORRES: Increase of homelessness, increase in the reserve for uncollected taxes, increase of theft of precious metals, increase in abandoned property.

REPORTER: Torres says it can be a nightmare for tenants when their landlord is in foreclosure. Paterson renter Tracy Dawson, mother of two knows. Her rental is in foreclosure and Dawson says the owner has left the country. Now security is an issue and she can't leave her home unattended.

DAWSON: I quit school because they broke into my door right there, this is the second time they did it.

REPORTER: And then there is the utility shutoff notice. Dawson says it came in the mail and was simply addressed: Occupant. For WNYC I'm Bob Hennelly.