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Foreclosure-related filings rise on LI

Foreclosure-related filings rose faster in the third quarter

Foreclosure-related filings rose faster in the third quarter on Long Island than they did nationwide, compared to the same period last year. Credit: AP File

Long Island's foreclosure-related filings for the third quarter shot up more than the national average compared to the same period last year, according to RealtyTrac, an online market for foreclosed homes.

Filings include bank repossessions, the first legal notices, and auction notices, which combined rose by 71 percent in Nassau, 50 percent in Suffolk and 22.5 percent nationwide, figures show. In Queens, filings rose by 9 percent. The filings covered 1,925 properties in Nassau, 2,352 in Suffolk and 2,563 in Queens, the report said.

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While figures show new foreclosure cases are up in Nassau and Suffolk, the number of homes repossessed by banks fell 36 percent compared to the same period last year and 42 percent from the second quarter. In Queens, third-quarter bank repossessions fell by 14 percent compared to a year ago but increased by 83 percent from the second quarter.

Loan modifications, the demand for foreclosed homes and the courts' scrutiny of the foreclosure process have helped keep properties from reverting to the lenders, said Peter Goodman, a Melville-based attorney who represents homeowners in state-mandated settlement conferences on foreclosures.

"They're slowing down the process of foreclosures to somewhat of a crawl," Goodman said. "The properties that are in foreclosure are being stalled by the settlement conferences that we're doing. . . . So there's a logjam in the foreclosure world right now."

Lenders repossessed 135 homes in Nassau and 51 in Suffolk in the third quarter, compared to 122 houses in Nassau and 169 in Suffolk for the same period last year and 213 in Nassau and 108 in Suffolk in this year's second quarter, RealtyTrac said.

The number of bank repossessions could also go down if lenders start accepting more "upset prices" - bids lower than the amount remaining on a mortgage.

Real estate investor Martin Burger has noticed that happening more this year as he sits in on Nassau's weekly foreclosure auctions.

Lenders in February began accepting bids below asking prices, but that was rare and the breaks small, said Burger, 63, of Valley Stream. Now, the accepted bids can be up to 40 percent off what lenders are owed on the mortgages, he said.

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