The scourge of foreclosure continues to plague New York state and New York City residents. A recent report by the New York State Senate says nearly 30,000 NYC homeowners could soon lose their homes to foreclosure proceedings.
While the foreclosure rate has gone down around the country as the national housing crisis subsides, it has increased by 15 percent in New York City over the past year. In fact, foreclosure activity has gone up by 21% over the past 23 months.
New York’s minority community has been disproportionately affected by this crisis. Nearly 80% – roughly 24,000 – of those in pre-foreclosure proceedings are minorities. Brooklyn and Queens residents have been the hardest hit among the boroughs, accounting for over 20,000 of the properties at risk.
Fortunately, help is available for both New Yorkers in foreclosure and for those approaching it. New York just extended the Critical Foreclosure Protections for Homeowners law up until 2020. The law mandates that all New York homeowners in foreclosure have the right to court-supervised settlement conferences with their lenders or landlords. This ensures transparency in the proceedings and helps homeowners find outside assistance. Both the state and federal government offer programs designed to help property owners who have fallen behind in their payments or are already in default. These include access to legal services and advice, mortgage modifications and reductions, second loans, and more.
To learn about what resources are available to you if you are in or approaching foreclosure, go to LawHelp NY’s housing section at www.lawhelpny.org/issues/
housing and click on the foreclosure link.