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Foreclosure, delinquency rates climb

Foreclosure sign

Foreclosure sign Photo Credit: Getty Images

Long Island's foreclosure and delinquency rates continued to climb in March, CoreLogic, a mortgage tracker, reported this week.

The latest report shows 10.05 percent of borrowers were at least 90 days late on their mortgages, up from 9.97 percent in March 2010 and 6.14 percent in March 2009.

According to findings, 5.72 percent of borrowers were in the foreclosure process. That's also up from 4.08 percent a year earlier and 2.73 percent in March 2009, data show.

The gap between the rates is a sign that lenders have not started foreclosure on every late borrower and experts said there are several reasons for this. First, the Obama administration has warned lenders not to start such proceedings on homeowners while they negotiate changes on loans. Second, the foreclosure process can take two years or more in New York state and it's costly. Third, lenders who end up taking back homes in New York state must make repairs and maintain them - even before they officially own the properties, according to state law that took effect last year. Fourth, it doesn't look good on bank books to have so many foreclosures.

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