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Press Release
New York Foreclosure Filings Down in Fourth Quarter 2008, Reflecting Impact of State Legislation and Initiatives
New York Banking Department and RealtyTrac® Release Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Foreclosure Data for New York State

January 23, 2009

New York, N.Y.: The New York State Banking Department and RealtyTrac® released New York county-level foreclosure statistics for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2008.  According to RealtyTrac there were 8,366 properties with foreclosure filings in New York during the fourth quarter of 2008 and 50,032 during the full year 2008. 

In the fourth quarter of 2008 New York State foreclosure filings decreased 42 percent compared to the third quarter of 2008 and decreased 33 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.  For the full year 2008, foreclosure filings increased 29 percent compared to an increase of 81 percent for the United States. In 2008, New York State ranked 35th among all states in total foreclosure filings, which is an improvement from 2007 when New York ranked 27th in total filings. 

“The good news is that we are seeing a reduction in foreclosure filings for the full year and a particularly significant drop in the fourth quarter. We believe this demonstrates the effectiveness of the multi-agency HALT Task Force initiatives and programs throughout the state addressing the mortgage crisis,” said Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks for New York.  “It reflects very favorably on the Governor’s mortgage lending reform bill which was in effect for the full fourth quarter. The results show that the number of foreclosure filings that were initiated during the fourth quarter was less than half of what we saw in the third quarter.  We believe this reflects the benefit of the new 90-day pre-foreclosure requirement, which gives homeowners additional time to try to renegotiate mortgage terms with their lenders. We will continue to watch these statistics closely as we go into the first quarter of 2009.”

“The bad news is that there remains a disproportionate impact in several counties where neighborhoods are devastated.  While the overall numbers are improving they are still too large in certain areas and suggest evidence of predatory lending,” said Neiman.  “As we have said before, we will not tolerate this and will take aggressive enforcement action focusing on abusive lending practices and mortgage fraud.  And we will continue to advocate systemic and sustainable loan modifications to avoid unnecessary foreclosures and the restoration of communities.”

“The action taken in New York to slow down the incidence of new foreclosure filings is a positive first step, which has dramatically reduced the state’s foreclosure activity rates,” noted Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac Senior Vice President. “In order to achieve lasting success, the next step must be to find a way to re-structure these loans in a way that reduces monthly payments to amounts that the borrowers can afford to pay.”  

Below are some notable findings:

  • Compared to the third quarter, the fourth quarter had no change in the counties comprising the top ten most impacted by foreclosure filings.
  • In the fourth quarter, each of the counties in the top ten showed improvement over the third quarter.
  • The top 20 counties represent over 90 percent of total filings.  All but two of those counties showed improvement in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2008.
  • Of the 62 counties in the State, 44 had fewer foreclosure filings in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2008. 

The following tables are accessible on the Banking Department Web site:

  • Top twenty counties in New York for foreclosure filings – fourth quarter 2008

  • Foreclosure filings alphabetically by county for all 62 counties – fourth quarter 2008

  • Foreclosure filings by percentage of filings for all 62 counties – fourth quarter 2008

  • Foreclosure filings alphabetically by county for all 62 counties – full year 2008

  • Foreclosure filings by percentage of filings for all 62 counties – full year 2008

Subprime Lending Reform Bill
New York’s subprime lending reform bill was signed into effect in August 2008 by Governor David A. Paterson. An important element of the bill is the mandatory pre-foreclosure notice that requires lenders to send a notice to borrowers of high-cost home loans, subprime home loans and non traditional home loans at least 90 days before the lender may commence legal action against the borrower. This mandatory component, which went into effect on September 1, was designed to encourage dialogue between borrowers, lenders and counselors in an effort to reach agreement on loan modifications and limit the number of unnecessary foreclosures.

The New York State Banking Department is the regulator for all state-chartered banking institutions, virtually all of the United States offices of international banking institutions, all of the State’s mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers, money transmitters and budget planners. The aggregate assets of the depository institutions supervised by the Banking Department are more than $2.2 trillion.

In addition to regulating banking institutions, the Banking Department is active in informing and educating all New Yorkers on banking matters. To contact the Banking Department, please call 1-877-BANK-NYS or visit our Web site at www.banking.state.ny.us.

RealtyTrac® is the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties.  Founded in 1996, RealtyTrac publishes the largest and most comprehensive national database of pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, For Sale By Owner, resale and new construction properties, with more than 1 million properties across the country, property reports, productivity tools and extensive professional resources.  RealtyTrac is the foreclosure data provider to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and The Wall Street Journal’s Real Estate Journal. More information is available at www.realtytrac.com.

Top twenty counties in New York for foreclosure filings – fourth quarter 2008
Foreclosure filings alphabetically by county for all 62 counties – fourth quarter 2008
Foreclosure filings by percentage of filings for all 62 counties – fourth quarter 2008
Foreclosure filings alphabetically by county for all 62 counties – full year 2008
Foreclosure filings by percentage of filings for all 62 counties – full year 2008

 

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