Mark Winston Griffith
Foreclosures in New York: The Results are In
For weeks now I've been talking to reporters and my colleagues about whether New York homeowners have been slipping into foreclosure at the same rate as mortgage borrowers from across the country. At the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP) we acquire and study foreclosure data, but until recently we had not received the most recent data from 2006 and 2007. While we've been collecting anectdotal evidence that an increasing number of homeowners in New York are falling prey to not only abusive mortgage products, but a range of predatroy real estate practices, we haven't had any confirmation. Surely, others have speculated, New York, with it's red hot housing market, must be immune to the scourge of foreclosures sweeping the land.
As recently reported in the Daily News by Juan Gonzalez, NEDAP has looked at the most recent foreclosure data and found that New York is indeed experiencing the same foreclosure epidemic as the rest of the country. (Listen to Juan and I discuss this with WNYC's Brian Lerher) Lis pendens filings - which are legal recordings of mortgages that are in default, indicating that a homeowner could ultimately lose his/her home in a foreclosure auction - have risen dramatically over the past year and a half. 2006 showed a 36% increase in lis pendens filings from the previous year. Perhaps most frighteningly, the number of lis pendens filings from January 1 through March 19 rose 48% compared to the some period the year before!
This is one of those moments where very little more explanation is necessary. The numbers speak for themselves. New York homeowners are suffering and it's time to stop the bleeding.