Even though the recession has technically been over for a while now, residents of Long Island, New York, continue to deal with the fallout. Homeowners who find themselves struggling with financial challenges often face the risk of foreclosure, especially when they are unaware of debt relief options or banks are unwilling to work with them. Unfortunately, foreclosure is a result that benefits no one. New York residents who find themselves in this situation should investigate their options for foreclosure defense, both for their own benefit and the benefit of their neighbors.
In Long Island, dilapidated foreclosed homes are a common sight. A recent news story indicated that in Babylon, a suburb of Long Island, there are approximately ten foreclosed homes that remain vacant and are falling into disrepair. In Suffolk County, the numbers reach over 3,300. The maintenance of these foreclosed homes becomes the responsibility of the banks once the foreclosure is finalized, but the banks are failing to comply with this responsibility. As a result, these homes are falling apart with caved in ceilings, mold, graffiti-covered walls, rotting wood and floors and garbage strewn about. Not only are these homes eyesores for the neighbors living nearby, they are also costing taxpayers money because cities and municipalities are footing the bill for maintenance, inspection and sometimes demolition when the banks fail to perform the required upkeep.
As this story illustrates, foreclosure often benefits no one. But the homeowner is the person who feels the pain of foreclosure the most as it means losing the family home-often the person’s greatest asset and also the place of many memories. Fortunately, there are several options for foreclosure defense that homeowners should consider when they are trying to protect their homes.
One option for foreclosure defense is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Although some people may initially be scared off by the term “bankruptcy,” this can be a valuable option for many people with serious financial struggles who just need some time and debt relief to get back on their feet. In filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, homeowners are often able to keep their homes by restructuring mortgage payments, even delinquent ones, so that they can clear up arrears and catch up over a period of time. In addition, filers may be able to negotiate a debt workout with mortgage lenders for second or third mortgages, which can help reduce over debt loads and provide some financial breathing room.
Source: CBS New York, “Foreclosed Homes Left In Gross States Of Disrepair On Long Island,” Aug. 21, 2014