New York City foreclosures are again on the rise, as banks reported seizing more homes the first month of year than in December.
The news comes after the foreclosure rate dropped significantly in 2011, when financial institutions were forced to stop and sort out claims of foreclosure abuse - something with which our New York foreclosure attorneys are all too familiar.
In one month, foreclosures across the country jumped by 8 percent, though that is still down 15 percent from 2010. That's according to RealtyTrac listing firm.
When the month of January came to a close, RealtyTrac reported there had been more than 210,000 homes in the country that were either issued a notice of default, repossessed or were slated for the auction block. That breaks down to roughly one every 625 homes in the country.
Other states that reported a very high increase include Massachusetts (75 percent) and new Hampshire (62 percent).
It's a pattern that is expected to continue following the $25 billion settlement that was signed off on by 49 state attorneys general (including New York Attorney General Eric Schniederman). The settlement was largely intended as a punitive measure following widespread misdeeds within the industry, as well as to aid some American homeowners who were either underwater on their mortgage or who had lost their homes to banks that never proved they were legally entitled to take them.
In the wake of a lot of these revelations, many banks put a hold on the filing of new foreclosures while they worked to retrace their steps (some would say cover their tracks) on previous filings. They also had to put measures in place to ensure the same errors wouldn't be recurring.
Under the settlement terms, the banks agreed to streamline the way they move through the foreclosure process. Part of the idea is to increase transparency.
Now, banks are once again beginning to turn their attention back to new foreclosure filings, so the numbers are again beginning to jump. RealtyTrac's vice president, Darn Blomquist, told USA Today Money that lenders are going to be playing catch up on the foreclosures that have accumulated over the past year, though it may happen somewhat slowly, as lenders will want to make sure they are in compliance with the new federal regulations.
In New York state, the month of January saw one of out every 4,849 homes handed a notice of foreclosure. There are currently more than 30,000 homes in the midst of a New York foreclosure. Of those, the average foreclosure sales price is around $323,000.
Some additional New York foreclosure statistics, according to RealtyTrac:
The following counties had the highest foreclosure activity in the state for the month of January:
- Kings, 292 filings
- Nassau, 229 filings
- Suffolk, 194 filings
- Monroe, 124 filings
- Bronx, 99 filings
Some mortgage bank economists say the real measure of whether the economy is returning to health is the employment rate. The higher employment is, the fewer people are going to miss their mortgage payments and ultimately, the less foreclosures there will be.
Unfortunately, however, it may be some time before we see that scenario become reality.
The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides mortgage foreclosure defense in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.
Foreclosure activity edges higher in January, By Alex Veiga, Associated Press
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