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Foreclosures fall in U.S. but rise sharply in New York City

Residents of New York are probably aware of the changes in foreclosure rates over the past few years. Foreclosure rates are rising by a huge amount in New York City, even as they fall nationwide. According to a report by the real estate industry group RealtyTrac, foreclosure rates nationwide were down 23 percent in April from the year before, to their lowest level since February 2007.

Meanwhile in New York City home foreclosure rates rose by more than 100 percent. Last fall’s Super storm Sandy was a major factor in this rise, according to real estate analysts. Many homes were damaged by high winds and flooding, and months later are still not in good enough condition to sell. Every borough in the city saw foreclosure rates rise, but rates in the areas hit hardest by the storm had the sharpest increase, according to the report. In Queens, which had the highest rate before Sandy, foreclosure rates rose a shocking 1,186 percent in April over the year before.

As the economic recovery drags on slowly, several residents in Long Island and the rest of New York have faced financial challenges for years. A sudden event such as an injury or a job loss can send them into a tailspin of debt. The widespread damage wreaked by Sandy last October was a devastating blow to the finances of many families in the area who were already struggling with debt.

Long Islanders and other New Yorkers who are faced with looming foreclosure should get help researching their legal options. There are ways to manage debt and get a handle on personal finances. Some kinds of bankruptcy and other repayment plans can allow homeowners to keep their homes while renegotiating their debts and mortgage payments.

No matter the reason for financial troubles, it is important that any and all options are understood before making a decision. This might mean seeking advice from a professional who could guide them down the path of debt recovery.

Source: Daily News, “Queens sees massive spike in foreclosures in April,” Phyllis Furman, May 9, 2013

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