According to a new report by Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein, nearly 30,000 New York City homeowners are in danger of losing their properties to foreclosure. Most of these homeowners are in minority communities.
New York Still Reeling from Housing Crisis
Across the country there seems to have been some form of recovery from the 2007-2008 housing crisis. But while foreclosure rates have gone down across the nation, New York City homeowners are suffering, according to the report. “Not only are foreclosure notices up 15% from the previous year, but foreclosure activity in the region experienced an annual increase in 21 of the past 23 months,” the report says. “We’re dealing with as big a problem as we were in the early days of the meltdown,” said Justin Haines, director of the foreclosure prevention unit for Bronx Legal Services. According to Haines, several years ago the problems stemmed from banks that targeted minority communities with subprime and high cost loans. But in recent years, many of the foreclosures have been tied to the sluggish economy.
Nurse Living at Risk of Foreclosure
51-year old Yvonne Mitchell is a nurse who has owned a two-family house in the Bronx for more than two decades. When she fell behind on her mortgage payments, she was forced to live at risk of her house being foreclosed on. This went on for two years until the matter was finally resolved this month through settlement conferences in front of a judge. “My heart was in my mouth all the time,” she said.
Bill for Foreclosure Mitigation
Klein (D-Bronx) and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein are making efforts to extend a 2009 law requiring banks to make foreclosure mitigation efforts similar to those that helped Mitchell. They hope their bill passes before the end of the June legislative session. “There are still many homeowners facing foreclosure and we have to do what we can to help them,” Klein said.
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