The Oswego County News reports that changes to the county’s tax foreclosure laws in 2017 are likely to increase the number of foreclosed properties compared to prior years.
County officials could have more than triple the number of foreclosure in 2020 as previous years as new measure cuts the foreclosure process in half.
According to the Oswego County News, the Oswego County Land Bank—created in 2016—acquires its properties from the county following tax foreclosure and aims to improve the housing stock within the county.
The new foreclosures processes were due to legislation approved by the Oswego County Legislature in September 2017, which allowed the county to take possession of residential properties after two years of non-payment of property taxes. The prior law enacted in 1995 allowed for a four-year timeframe.
County Treasurer Kevin Garden said there are nearly 600 properties in the county that are on track to be foreclosed. The number of foreclosed properties is usually around 150.
While Oswego County is reporting an uptick due to new legislation, ATTOM revealed that foreclosure starts in New York were down 28% in 2019. Foreclosure starts across the nation fell 9% last year.
Buffalo, New York—roughly 150 miles west of Oswego—saw an annual increase in REOs with its share rising 16% last year. Honolulu, Hawaii, reported a 34% increase in REO properties.
“The continued decline in distressed properties is one of many signs pointing to a much-improved housing market compared to the bad old days of the Great Recession,” said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer for ATTOM Data Solutions. “That said, there is some reason for concern about the potential for a change in the wrong direction, given that residential foreclosure starts increased in about a third of the nation’s metro housing markets in 2019. Nationally, the number also ticked up a bit in December. While that’s not a major worry, it’s something that should be watched closely in 2020.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill in January intended to defendants in foreclosure court. The bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Helene Weinstein and State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, which amends Article 13 in Real Property Actions & Proceedings and allows defendants more leeway to bring up the defense of “standing” in foreclosure court, Kings County Politics reports.
New York has some of the highest delinquency and foreclosure rates in the county, concentrated in New York City. According to data from LendingTree in November 2019, the New York-Newark-New Jersey metro had the highest serious delinquency rate of 2.6%. The metro also had the highest overall foreclosure rate at 1.3%.