Home prices in the United States may fall more than 10 percent again this year, leaving more homeowners facing or contemplating foreclosure in Queens and throughout the New York City area.
Our Queens foreclosure defense lawyers understand the challenges facing many New York City families. Job loss, wage stagnation and high debt levels can make it tough enough to make ends meet. Now, falling housing prices can leave homeowners upside down on their mortgages -- owing far more on a first and/or second mortgage than their home is worth.
Discussing your options with an attorney is the best course of action to protect your families current and future financial well-being. Strategic default, mortgage-loan modification, short sale and foreclosure are all among the options. Each has benefits and risks that need to be weighed against what is in the best interest of the homeowner. Some have pitfalls a homeowner may not have considered. For instance, a short sale or foreclosure may leave a homeowner vulnerable to a deficiency judgment for five years; a bank could seek to collect the difference between what a property brought at sale and what was owed on the mortgage. When it comes to loan modifications, there is little evidence of homeowners being treated fairly. In fact, banks have approved temporarily modifications in some cases, only to later reject a permanent modification and use the resulting arrears as reason to foreclose on your home.
Bloomberg News reports all of the distressed real estate can have a drastic impact on a neighborhood's overall home values, even as the economy improves.
"Distressed prices appear to have stabilized while non-distressed prices not only continue to fall, but have picked up their rates of decline," analysts said. Home prices nationwide are down 32 percent since the July 2006 peek. The large supply of bank-owned properties, and issues with home-loan financing will continue to act as a drag on the market.
For those who have weathered the economic storm, the resulting drag an underwater property can have on their financial future may last for decades. We encourage homeowners to be proactive in seeking a solution, instead of waiting until they are out of time, out of money and out of options.