Queens Bank Foreclosures Highest Among NY Counties- By: John Cutts
Queens bank foreclosures topped all other county filings in New York State for the ten-month period ended October this year. Of the over 58,200 foreclosure actions filed in New York State, a total of 10,521 actions were in Queens County. Bronx had 3,071 filings while Manhattan had 1,238.
During the month of November, total foreclosure filings in New York City soared by an overwhelming 85 percent from November last year as the 90-day notice legislation implemented last year ended.
In the five New York City boroughs, almost 2,000 homes were hit with default or foreclosure filings, marking a jump of almost 8 percent from October.
A total of 540 notices were filed in Queens, up by almost six percent from October but down by nearly 24 percent from November last year. Brooklyn posted the highest number with 749 filings, more than 300 percent higher than total filings in November 2008 and 38-percent higher than filings during the previous month of October.
According to New York analysts, Queens bank foreclosures were driven by the worsening employment problem. The jobless rate in Queens rose from 9.1 percent in September to 9.2 percent in October, based on data from the Labor Department. Over 2,500 Queens residents became jobless in October, pushing the city to re-open eight church-operated homeless shelters closed in 2008 to serve unemployed people that lose their homes or rentals.
Last week, New York Governor David Paterson also signed another foreclosure law that would help troubled middle-class families keep their homes. Under previous state foreclosure laws, court-supervised mediation conferences between distressed homeowners and their lenders were only for borrowers who took out subprime loans.
Under the new state law, the mediation program is now available for all types of distressed mortgage loans. Banks are also required to notify renters at least three months before pursuing foreclosures on rentals to give sufficient time for affected renters to find new rental housing.
Lenders are also now required to maintain foreclosure homes to preserve property values and to keep community groups and local governments from spending their funds to maintained vacant foreclosures.
The new law also prohibits privately-owned foreclosure prevention companies from collecting fees upfront and intensifies the crackdown on fraudulent loan modification service providers.
Additionally, the office of New York City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. has also announced the results of its efforts to help New York residents save their homes.
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John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.