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December 21, 2010

New Jersey is not immune to the foreclosure problems that are troubling the rest of the country. This year alone there were 65,222 foreclosure filings, but of that number only six percent -- or about 4,500 cases -- were contested, according to an Administrative Order issued by the state Supreme Court. Thus, 94 percent of all cases proceeded in what the order calls the "absence of any meaningful adversarial proceeding." The Administrative Order continues, "the significance of this disparity is even more striking because many of the contested proceedings are defended pro se" -- with the defendant serving as his or her own attorney. The order also indicates that New Jersey is plagued by "pervasive 'robo-signing' in foreclosure and bankruptcy filings."

In response to these and other findings the Supreme Court has appointed a judge to serve as a "Special Master" to help sort out the issues involving bankruptcy and foreclosure filings.

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