Comptroller: NY home foreclosure filings decline

New mortgage foreclosure filings dropped last year in New York while still edging up nationally, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who cautioned the fallout continues from the U.S. housing crisis and recession.

The state decline can be attributed partly to a temporary suspension of foreclosure activity by banks, not an improvement in the market, DiNapoli said.

“In general the foreclosure crisis in New York State and New York City was less severe than in other parts of the country,” he said. “But neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx were especially hard hit.”

In November 2009, New York lawmakers passed a bill giving homeowners and renters more protection, expanding a mandatory 90-day pre-foreclosure notice to all types of home loans — not just subprime mortgages — and letting renters living in foreclosed properties remain for the remainder of their lease or 90 days, whichever is longer.

Last October, the state’s chief judge imposed rules requiring lawyers handling foreclosures to verify that all paperwork is accurate following complaints that lenders nationwide cut corners on paperwork and legal procedures as they moved to seize homes.

Foreclosure filings dropped from 50,000 to 43,900 statewide last year, while rising nationally from 2.8 million to 2.9 million, according to the comptroller’s office. That lowered New York to 42nd place among states. Nevada had the most filings for the fourth straight year.

Read the full article here: Comptroller: NY home foreclosure filings decline – BusinessWeek.

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