Foreclosure is a disheartening reality for people suffering from financial challenges due to unemployment, natural disaster, medical expenses and other unpredictable circumstances. Regardless of past payment history, a homeowner’s sudden inability to make mortgage payments can lead to lengthy court battles and even eviction. The combination of a failing housing market and a devastating natural disaster has left numerous Long Island homeowners struggling to stop home foreclosure as the state deals with an overwhelming backlog of cases.
According to one comprehensive study, foreclosure rates in Long Island doubled over an eight-year period, while the number of homes sold decreased by 56 percent. While Superstorm Sandy is believed to be an exacerbating factor in recently, collected data suggests that the frequency of foreclosure was already skyrocketing before the natural disaster occurred.
From January 2005 to November 2012, the housing market reportedly dipped from 49,000 to 21,487 sales, representing a profit decline of more than $17 billion. During the same period, foreclosures multiplied from 6,249 to 13,132, with a large majority of new cases appearing in 2012. Reports also indicate that average sales prices for Long Island homes have only experienced a 1 percent increase since 2010, creating potential problems for the local economy.
For some Long Island homeowners, the complicated review process may offer options to stop home foreclosure. New York reportedly has the longest wait times in the country for foreclosure cases, taking an average of three years for mortgage lenders to receive a ruling.
These built-in delays may provide the time homeowners need to reestablish financial security or seek professional advice on how to reach a favorable solution with lenders. Homeowners should also be familiar with the terms of their mortgage agreements and take steps to understand important rights and options for fighting foreclosure.
Source: Newsday, “Analysis: LI home sales plummet, foreclosures rise,” Maura McDermott and Randi F. Marshall, Jan. 1, 2013