Foreclosure Spike Could Be Misleading

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Westchester County's third-quarter total of 2,046 foreclosures already exceeds the full-year totals of 1,812 in 2012. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
County filings by town through May 2013. Photo Credit: Provided by Peter Harckham's Office
Westchester County foreclosures' third quarter total of 2,046 already exceeding the full-year totals of 1,812 in 2012 and 1,655 in 2011. Photo Credit: Westchester County Clerk
Photo Credit: Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors
Legislator Peter Harckham said he the fact that foreclosure prevention money was cut from the 2013 county budget and the rise in foreclosures go hand-in-hand. Photo Credit: Joe Jenkins

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Westchester County foreclosures are coming in at a rapid pace in 2013, with this year’s third-quarter total of 2,046 already exceeding the full-year totals of 1,812 in 2012 and 1,655 in 2011.

“The number of foreclosure filings in the third quarter of 2013 has increased by 53 percent from the third quarter of 2012,” Westchester County Clerk Timothy Idoni said.

County Legislator Peter Harckham said the fact that foreclosure prevention money was cut from the 2013 county budget and the rise in foreclosures go hand-in-hand. Westchester towns of Lewisboro, Cortlandt, Mount Kisco, New Castle, North Castle, Ossining, Peekskill, and Somers, among others, have already met and/or are expected to exceed their 2012 foreclosure filing totals.

“The foreclosure prevention money I put in budget four years ago was cut out entirely this year,” Harckham said. “Now, Lewisboro and Bedford are (No.) 2 and (No.) 3 in per capita foreclosures as a percentage. Some people may not think certain services are necessary but you must have a full comprehensive understanding of what the whole district is.”

While those numbers seem staggering, Phil Faranda, broker/owner of J.Philip Real Estate LLC and vice president of the Hudson Gateway MLS, said those numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt.

“Many of the filings blowing up the current statistics give an artificial inflation to the numbers because of things like the ‘Robo’ signing scandal and self-imposed moratoriums by lenders themselves delayed many of these filings,” he said.

Faranda added that the term foreclosure is not cut and dry.

“Filing of a defaulted loan, commonly known as ‘putting a house into foreclosure’ in local parlance, does not necessarily mean that the home is going to be repossessed imminently,” Faranda said.

Keller Williams real estate broker Gary Leogrande said that short sales, which are used to avoid foreclosures, are also on the rise in the county. Short sales are sales of real estate in which the proceeds from selling the property fall short of the balance of debts secured against the property, and the property owner cannot afford to repay the full amounts.

“Many banks are still strongly favoring working with homeowners to complete short sales rather than to go through with a foreclosure. We have seen a significant increase in successfully completed short sales this year in Westchester County,” he added.

Both Faranda and Leogrande concluded that the current rise in foreclosures is more reflective of "older shadow inventory" and is not a current crisis. Westchester County Clerk Rosia Blackwell Lawrence said breakdowns of town-by-town foreclosure filings are misleading since the county’s system does not allow them to provide reports by municipality.

“Filers are not required to list a property address, but instead are only required to provide a legal description of the property,” she said.

“If a property address is not provided, we do not capture data regarding an address. Even if a property address is provided, it may not accurately reflect the municipality in which the property lies. One example is that a Scarsdale postal address could be in the Town of Scarsdale or the City of New Rochelle.”

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Comments (17)

patrickilkenny:

Okay Pete, I will spin gold for you and vote for you; but you must guess my name within three days or you must give up your throne. You have three days to guess...

JS84:

Peter Harckham sticks with the Democrat playbook. Remember when President Obama's former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stated "You never let a serious crisis go to waste". Go get em Pete!

patrickilkenny:

The mentality of the current Village Board is more and more and more spending of taxpayer money. Now the Village Board of Mount Kisco wants to spend $600,000.00 to buy more property. The Village is not, and should not be in the business of becoming the largest landowner in Mount Kisco and the exponential result of becoming the largest landlord of more properties; buying property when we can’t even pay our police officers a decent wage is horrific. The Village should be divesting itself of property and selling off all of its interests in land and real estate, not buying more buildings and other assets which the Village does not need, nor do its residents want. How much more money are we going to spend this year buying property.

The beautiful old post office which sits on Main Street is occupied by the Village Attorney’s law firm, Singleton, Davis & Singleton – approximately 4,000 square feet – it’s rent $5,000.00 per month, that’s 12.50 per square foot. Insane!!!!! Why, because he is the Village Attorney? In reports on this matter when the lease was signed it is said that the Board of Ethics approved the deal with Singleton; but Whitney Singleton is an Ex-Officio member of that very Board [the fox watching the hen-house – remember that?]. If anyone has ever walked into that building and has seen the beautiful renovation which took place and heard that the building was rented for $5,000.00 per month would faint. The previous tenant Terrapin LLC [who renovated the entire old post office] paid $91,000.00 per year in rent – Singleton - $60,000.00 per year. You decide the equity in that deal. But, Mr. Singleton will tell you, he has over $10,000.00 in operating expenses; Terrapin didn’t have business expenses? Since when do business operating expenses determine their rent? Can you call your bank at the end of the month and say I have too many expenses; can you charge me less rent? That is a difference of $ 31,000.00 in yearly rent; but we can’t afford to give our police a uniform allowance to wear sharp, clean and present a splendid public presentation? Insane!

inthewoods:

We'll all be in foreclosure if we don't get our taxes under control. Mount Vernon property owners should sign the online petition urging the City Council to stay within the 2% tax cap for 2014.

http://www.change.org/petitions/mount-vernon-city-council-limit-2014-property-tax-increase-to-1-66-as-mandated-by-new-york-state-law

Activist Bill:

Mayor Davis will do whatever he wants, regardless of what the people want. He broke the state mandate for 2013 and will do it again with the 2014 budget. When are the Feds going to cuff him and drag him out of City Hall?

ksnow:

as for the spike in Mt Vernon Foreclosures..it is true. Reason being..the corruption of MV by the criminal Mayor and the incompetent Board of Education. The tax base for MV residents, especially those living in the Pennington School district is disproportionate to everyone else and we cant even send our children to the public schools because they are terrible. There is no tax revenue from the so called business Davis swore he would bring in, the crime is getting worse and people who wish to sell their home cant because no one wants to live in Mt Vernon..its a damn shame whats happened to this city and its the voters fault for allowing it.

Activist Bill:

More people have "for sale" signs posted in front of their houses, than ever before in the history of Mount Vernon. The corrupt city administration will continue as long as the people allow it. The incompetency of the Board of Education will continue as long as the people allow it. The criminal buddies of Mayor Davis (Edwards and Apuzzo) will be re-elected to the Council because the people will allow it.

german59:

This called double dipping. The banks got their bailout, i.e. payment on any default, and now they are looking to foreclose and score twice.

DEE DEE:

even better the banks make most of there money back on the loan in the first 5 years. so it's almost triple pay. yeah the rich taking care of the rich.

Fifth Ave Guy:

You do know they paid the money back with interest?

Fifth Ave Guy:

Sounds like Peter single handedly solved the mortgage crisis, NOT.

Do any of these Democrats realize the pain the middle class is suffering? They don't seem to understand that the higher taxes go, the harder it is for people to pay their bills, including the mortgage payment. And they've all forgot that nobody's getting raises, if they're still working.

Vote Astorino! Who wants to turn Westchester County into what New Rochelle's become?

Marcus Junius Brutus:

The most effective foreclosure prevention money I can think of would be a donation to Andrea Rendo to get Peter "turn out the lights on taxpayers" Harckham out of office. Westchester taxpayers, already living in the highest taxed County in the nation, cannot endure another decade of his Democratic majority on the County board of legislators. It would be nice for a change for northern Westchester to be represented by a representative that represents them.

Fifth Ave Guy:

Yes, we'd all be better off without Peter Harchham. I bet he's one of those super rich liberals that don't need to work to pay their taxes. You know the Gnoam Bramson type Democrat that doesn't represent the middle class and certainly not working men/women. The arrogance of these people.

halmarc45:

Here's a most visible example of how The Daily Voice tries to act like it serves unique communities when all it is doing is making one headline fit all.

Lured in by the headline on this, ostensibly the Greenburgh edition, one might reasonably expect to see the word Greenburgh appear in the article. But nooooh.

Instead, the only thing misleading in the headline is the "story" which follows.

Hal Samis

Native New Yorker:

Maybe Mr. Harckham can explain what is "foreclosure prevention money" ?

How many homes did it save in the past, where are they now and how is it paid back if at all.

Or is this another gift to the wealthy Democrat supporter bankers ?

JBSP539:

That

JBSP539:

This should be a wake up call!
Misleading? What is misleading about foreclosures
People are having trouble and thta should not be minimized!

Adam Ochs
vfdcommish@aol.com

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