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Foreclosure numbers are falling, but not for all in New York

The 2008 financial crisis was an economically tough time for homeowners across the United States, with many of them facing foreclosure on their homes. While the foreclosure rates have since gone down in many states, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports that New York still has the second highest rate of foreclosures at 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

That being said, per court-system data, during the first half of 2016 in New York City, the amount of pending foreclosures went down 5.8 percent, making it the biggest yearly drop since 2008. Moreover, in several other counties -- Westchester, Suffolk, and Nassau -- the amount of pending foreclosures went down 14 percent in the first half of 2016, making it the biggest drop in those counties altogether.

There may be a number of reasons why the amount of foreclosures in the state is falling. First of all, the economy has improved since 2008. In fact, the Real Estate Board of New York reports that in New York City, the average price for a home in the second quarter of 2016 went up 10 percent when compared to the same time period in 2015. In addition, courts are working more quickly to address the backlog of foreclosure cases. Also, property values have gone up, making mortgage lenders more likely to go through auctions at a faster rate rather than be saddled post-foreclosure with properties that were undervalued.

The declining numbers of foreclosures is a good sign, but it doesn't help those who have found themselves in financial trouble and are now facing foreclosure. In these cases, individuals in Long Island may want to consider legal solutions such as filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which can put a halt to foreclosure proceedings and allow the individual to enter into a payment plan to get back on their feet and address their debts, including unpaid mortgage payments.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Foreclosures Drop in New York and New Jersey as Courts Pick Up Pace," Josh Barbanel, Aug. 3, 2016

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