Westchester Foreclosure Filings Down 50%

Real Estate Broker/Owner with J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY License # 49FA1074963

According to the Journal News, the number of foreclosure filings in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam County is down quite a bit. Westchester is down 50% from October 2010 through January 2011 compared to the same period from 2009 to 2010. The numbers are equally impressive in Rockland (39%) and Putnam (51%). 

Does this mean we are out of the woods? Hardly. The reason for the decline is the Robo-signing Scandal, which has caused a judge to order banks to show proof of attorney review of all foreclosure documents. That is a daunting task in light of the still-enormously -high mortgages that are behind, underwater, or both. Banks are just taking longer to file lis pendens against people who are not paying. In January of 2008, 243 lis pendens were filed. That number this past January was only 133. The banks are just being more careful. 

The number of actual foreclosures in Westchester is down to a trickle. This past January, only 6 full judgments were filed -in other words, only 6 people had their homes taken back. In 2008, that number was 83. Again, not because everyone is paying their bill like magic; the lenders are just having to be far more deliberate. 

If anything, this means that we'll continue to see short sales as an everyday thing, the shadow inventory will still be waiting in the wings, and loan modifications will continue to clog the housing courts. 



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Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi - Lodi, CA
The Nines Team in Lodi

Phil - I fear that the scandal will have varying impacts across the nation as different venues come to grips with the multiple issues of the mess.  It seems that the last spate of reports, even here on ActiveRain have a "foreclosures are down" drift about them ... without making the observations you have included.

Feb 20, 2011 03:18 PM #1
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Sounds like a bit of progress but it's going to be years before the backlog/shadow inventory clears out.

Feb 20, 2011 09:24 PM #2
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I suspect that short sale listings will not necessarily result in an increase in short sale closings.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Feb 20, 2011 10:07 PM #3
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Any way you cut it...we are still faced with the big shadow inventory!  I am glad to hear that foreclosures were down a little, as that means that people are getting to stay in their homes.

Feb 21, 2011 12:58 AM #4
Lester Kravitz
Kravitz, REALTORS®, Ltd. 89 Wolfs Ln NY 10803 914-738-7777 - Pelham, NY

This is wonderful news.

Feb 21, 2011 01:12 AM #5
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

That is great news on the surface....ours still are pretty high....and I know that the numbers are increasing rather than decreasing.   So many coming on the market and driving the prices down even lower!    January median prices in our County were 8% less than Decembrs.    We definitely are not out of the woods...the only good thing I am seeing is more are selling at realistic prices rather than the "hope it sells prices" of a few years ago! 

Feb 21, 2011 02:35 AM #6
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Jack- there is always a story behind the story. 

Lenn- I hope you are, for my own sake, but my observations are that lenders are giving lip service to speeding things along before they slow things down to a glacial pace once everything is submitted. 

Barbara- many are living for free. 

Lester- You said it, fewer repos are always better. 

Deborah- sellers are more realistic in my neck of the woods also. 

Feb 21, 2011 02:42 AM #7
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Yeah, wait until mid June and look at the numbers then. I know people are hopeful and ready to snatch any thread of hope that is dangled in front of them but I really do not see any miraculous change on the horizon, do you?

Feb 21, 2011 03:37 AM #8
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

I agree with Elizabeth. I don't see any quick change coming but I'm happy to see that your area is doing so much better, Phil. Maybe there is hope for us all yet :)

Feb 21, 2011 11:08 AM #9
Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556
William Raveis Legends Realty Group LLC - Tarrytown, NY
William Raveis Legends Realty Group

Phil... in Westchester it took longer for prices to fall, sales numbers to drop, and there were and are fewer foreclosures and short sales per capita than elsewhere... but it eventally happened here too... however, now it seems that it is climbing out of the basement faster than other parts of the country... but as you suspected, most of the improvement may be just related to the banks being more careful with their foreclosure filings... and while I tend to agree I also like to believe that it is more so because Westchester is recovering a little bit faster...

Feb 21, 2011 01:11 PM #10
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

J. Phillip - This is really great news and hopefully your market continues to head in the right direction, it's got to start some where.

Feb 21, 2011 01:34 PM #11
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