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New York's foreclosure backlog is finally shifting

A MARCH 15, 2008 FILE PHOTOMel Evans/AP

New York foreclosures are finally getting cleared up

New York’s major foreclosure backlog is finally showing signs of unclogging.

The number of New York foreclosure auctions scheduled in May was up 118% from a year ago, an indication that foreclosures that have been locked in limbo for years are finally starting to make their way through the system, according to a new report by real estate data website RealtyTrac.

“Lenders are finally pushing those properties through the foreclosure pipeline and completing the process,” said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

“Banks have finally gotten their documentation ducks in a row on some of the tough foreclosure cases.”

The surge in auctions comes amid immense political pressure to start pushing foreclosures through in New York, which has one of the largest backlogs of delinquent home loans of any state.

More than 5.5% of mortgages in New York were in some stage of foreclosure in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Gov. Cuomo and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have both called for policy changes that would prevent the proliferation of so-called zombie homes — properties that have been vacated by foreclosed-on residents but not yet repossessed by the bank.

It’s also in the banks’ interest to sell these properties as quickly as possible, before the market starts to cool, Blomquist said.

“It’s a good market to sell even these scratch-and-dent distressed properties at a good price,” he said.

Meanwhile, there aren’t nearly as many new foreclosures being filed in New York compared to the dark days following the last market crash.

Foreclosure starts in New York are actually down 10% from a year ago, Blomquist said.

Nationally, foreclosure filings were up 16% from a year ago in May to a 19-month high.

Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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