New York’s Foreclosure Climate In 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in 2020, it set off a series of tragic and unprecedented events that threw the entire country off balance. Within the turmoil, each state took measures to protect and keep its residents safe. Shutdowns and quarantines were implemented to safeguard people against the virus. Consequently, amid the safety protocols, shutdowns, and quarantines, many were furloughed or laid off since the majority of businesses and nonessential workplaces had to close. Without the inability to generate income, a vast number of individuals and families quickly began to struggle with living expenses, particularly rent and mortgage payments.

In New York, the governor enacted a moratorium to help residents stay home without the fear of eviction or foreclosure. The moratorium puts a stay on evictions and foreclosures affected by the pandemic, and it is valid until May 1st, 2021. It is unclear whether New York will extend the moratorium past May 1st. Once the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is lifted, some predict that there will be an increase in foreclosure actions and cases.

For those anticipating foreclosure after the moratorium is lifted, it is wise to become informed about the process and the options that could be available. For instance, if you are in pre-foreclosure or even in foreclosure, you still have the option to sell your house and pay off the existing liens as long as the house has not been sold in a foreclosure sale. Selling your home before it is sold in a foreclosure sale has advantages. For one, your credit will not be further affected by foreclosure, and it will make it easier to obtain your next home. If selling is not an option, there are other alternatives to consider. Nonetheless, you should still become familiar with the foreclosure process to avoid any surprises.

Banks & Foreclosure

Contrary to widespread belief, banks prefer it when homeowners keep their homes and catch up on mortgage payments rather than to default and end up in foreclosure. The truth is that there are ways to work with the bank so that a property does not end up in foreclosure. The best way to go about working with the bank is to enlist the assistance of a foreclosure defense attorney. An attorney whose practice area involves real estate and foreclosure can provide viable solutions suitable for homeowners in a foreclosure situation.

If a homeowner finds no recourse but to move forward with a foreclosure, it is important to understand the law and consequences of a foreclosure sale. If a house proceeds to foreclosure and the sale does not cover the amount of the mortgage, the bank can petition for a deficiency judgment. A deficiency judgment is a judgment against the borrower, in this case, the homeowner, for the difference between the amount owed and the sale price. The bank can seek to collect the deficiency or amount owed through this type of judgment. If a deficiency judgment is obtained, the bank can go after the debtor’s assets to recover the deficiency. They can garnish wages or impose on bank accounts. What’s more, deficiency judgments typically last about 20 years.

Fortunately, when it comes to equity in foreclosure, not all is lost. If a homeowner has equity in the home, they stand a better chance of selling their house rather than letting it go to foreclosure. However, if foreclosure is imminent, the equity that is left over following the foreclosure sale, and after the loan and penalties are paid off, belongs to the homeowner.

Liens & Second Mortgages In A Foreclosure

Homeowners often worry about what happens to liens and second mortgages on their house. During a foreclosure, liens and second mortgages are cleared during the process. Of course, this depends on the case, the bank involved, and the parties named in the lien. If the bank is named as the holder of the lien or defendant in the lawsuit involving the lien, this type of lien would normally be absolved. It is helpful to be aware that any creditor can put a lien on a house at any time. As a result, it is sensible to verify whether a lien has been placed before a foreclosure starts. Depending on when the bank started the foreclosure, the lien may or may not be included.

Short Sale Or Foreclosure

Like all other businesses, banks are in the industry to make money. Whether the bank chooses to approve a short sale or proceed with a foreclosure will depend on which one would result in a better recovery and cost less to pursue. Sometimes, the foreclosure process is easier. Short sales are often difficult to get approved. They are difficult to get approved because the bank typically absorbs the balance that does not get paid from the sale. In most cases, the homeowner comes to an agreement with the bank in which they are exonerated from any balance that is owed, even if it is beyond what the short sale price was approved for.

It is worth noting that there are other options a homeowner can consider besides a short sale or foreclosure. A homeowner can explore a deed in lieu of foreclosure, cash for keys, or bankruptcy. To determine the best option, it is highly advised to consult with a foreclosure defense attorney.

Facing Debt In 2021

The consequences of the pandemic have created a ripple effect. Due to unemployment, the loss of adequate income, and other issues relating to the pandemic, many are facing major consumer debt in 2021.

It is important to be rational when dealing with consumer debt. If you are experiencing significant debt, do not fall into the trap of getting into more debt to appease other debt. For example, it is usually never a good idea to get a small loan from a bad credit lender to pay off past due mortgage or car payments. There are better ways of resolving debt. If you are unable to keep up with debt as it is coming due, do not fret. It is possible to obtain debt relief.

Debt Relief

Most consumer debt consists of credit card debt. The good news is that there are solutions to credit card debt. A debtor can seek credit card debt relief through a debt settlement program, debt consolidation, or bankruptcy. Of course, all of these options have pros and cons to consider. It is highly advised to talk to a debt relief attorney about the best options for your particular circumstance.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is one way a debtor can lessen their credit card burden. It works by taking on a new loan to pay off the old credit card. When the credit card debt is paid off by the new loan, the debtor makes one payment to the new loan’s creditor. Debt consolidation should only be sought if it is going to benefit the debtor financially and save them money in the long run. To determine whether debt consolidation is the right option for you, contact a debt relief attorney to discuss your options.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is another alternative to reconciling credit card debt. It is similar to debt consolidation. However, instead of taking on a new loan, a settlement program negotiates a reduced debt amount with the creditors and establishes an escrow in which monthly payments are entered. The monthly payments in escrow are then remitted to the credit card companies until the reduced debt is resolved. Generally, no amount of credit card debt is too small or large for debt settlement. However, debt settlement can be risky.

If a debtor defaults on a credit card settlement agreement, the debt settlement company can pursue a judgment in court. It is common practice for a debt settlement stipulation to be set in place when a debtor seeks to reconcile their debt through a debt settlement program. The debt settlement stipulation is an agreement that is set forth by the creditor to ensure that they receive payment.

Like any other debt settlement option, there are various factors to look out for. Since debt settlement can be risky for many reasons, it is highly advised to work with an experienced debt relief attorney who knows how to negotiate with debt settlement companies and achieve agreeable terms on your behalf.

Bankruptcy

Most people view bankruptcy as a last resort to debt. They consider it when all other options have been exhausted or thoroughly considered to no avail. However, bankruptcy can be a feasible solution. If you are not able to keep up with credit card debt, personal loan debt, car payments, mortgage payments, and/or other monthly obligations, bankruptcy can provide significant debt relief. Even if you have already started working with a debt consolidator or debt settlement company, you can still file for bankruptcy. Many deflect from these types of programs when they are no longer able to keep up with the monthly payments.

The key to debt relief is that it is attainable. By working with a debt relief attorney, you can find a solution that is right for you and be well on your way to financial stability.

Glen A. Kurtis, P.C.

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