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Looking at the foreclosure process in New York

Those who are familiar with national housing markets know that there have been significant improvements nationwide in terms of the number of homeowners in foreclosure. In August, a total of 37,000 home foreclosures were reportedly completed, which represents a 3.2 percent decrease from July and a 42.4 decrease from August 2015. A total of 0.9 percent of homes with a mortgage are currently in some stage of foreclosure, which is significantly down from 29.6 percent in August 2015.

Here in New York, we are not doing as well as some other areas. With a total of 2.9 percent of mortgaged homes currently in some stage of foreclosure, we have made big improvements, but still lag behind some areas of the nation. Part of the reason for that, perhaps a large reason, is that New York is a judicial foreclosure state, which means the process take longer than it does in states where foreclosure is handled administratively. 

In New York, the foreclosure process begins when the lender files a lawsuit. Before that happens, though, the lender sends an Acceleration Letter to the borrower, which tells the borrower that the lender will accelerate the entire mortgage if the amount overdue is not paid by a given date. Lenders must also send the borrower notice of impending foreclosure at least 90 days prior to filing the foreclosure summons and complaint, which are the papers which initiate the lawsuit. The lender files an affidavit with the court to verify the preceding steps have taken place.

The borrower’s first step in a foreclosure case is to file papers requesting judicial intervention and identifying his or her legal representative. We’ll continue looking at the process in our next post, and how an experienced advocate can assist a homeowner in the foreclosure process.

Source: New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal, “Understanding New York State’s Mortgage Foreclosure Process,” Accessed Oct. 17, 2016. 

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