The Foreclosure Fiasco Will Not End Until 2073

Chase Foreclosure

At least it feels good. (Getty)

At least not in the Empire State, as a cover story from the Sunday Times explains:

In New York State, it would take lenders 62 years at their current pace, the longest time frame in the nation, to repossess the 213,000 houses now in severe default or foreclosure, according to calculations by LPS Applied Analytics, a prominent real estate data firm.

And this is as 2010 was a record year for foreclosures. There are those states like California and Nevada that should only take a few years to fix, the Gray Lady reports, while others—Florida, Massachusetts and Illinois—could take upward of a decade. Why, then, is New York so backward?

In New York, lenders seeking to repossess face additional hurdles. The legislature has mandated that borrower and bank meet to discuss terms under the auspices of the court, but these conferences have turned out to be anything but brief or simple. Instead of one conference, 10 are often needed, court officials say.

And many foreclosure lawyers seem unable to meet a requirement, made last October by the New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, to affirm the accuracy of their documentation.

“The affirmation has had a pretty chilling effect,” said Ann Pfau, New York’s chief administrative judge. “The attorneys for the banks tell us they can’t get through to the right people at their clients who can verify the information.”

Last September, before the documentation crisis, nearly 1,500 New Yorkers lost their houses as a result of foreclosure, according to LPS. The average over the last six months: 286. That is far lower than at any point since the recession began.

Discussions? Accurate documentation? These notions are downright medieval!

mchaban [at] | @MC_NYC