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Report: 134,000 NY Homeowners Receive Pre-Foreclosure Notices

According to the ""New York State Banking Department"":http://www.banking.state.ny.us, more than 76,000 New York homeowners have received 90-day pre-foreclosure notices since May 31, and a total of[IMAGE]134,000 pre-foreclosure notices have been sent to those who have fallen behind on mortgage payments since data collection began in February. The information is based on data received from nearly 400 mortgage loan servicers.

The banking department attributes the increase in the statistics to its new online system, which was launched in August, and the addition of about 200 mortgage loan servicers to the data gathering pool. The online system makes it easier for lenders, assignees, and mortgage servicers to file information pertaining to pre-foreclosure notices, according to a statement released by the banking department.

The banking department reports that the four counties with the highest number of pre-foreclosure filings on owner-occupied, 1-to-4 family properties in the state remained the same as in its last report issued in June.

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Suffolk County tops the list with 19,880 pre-foreclosure notices. Queens had 15,184, Nassau had 13,611, and Brooklyn had 11,037. Westchester replaced Erie as the fifth highest with 6,309 notices.

The report also found that more than half of the pre-foreclosure notices were sent on mortgages or refinances originated between 2005 and 2007, and more than 29 percent of the pre-foreclosure notices were sent on loan amounts under $100,000.

The banking department says it is working with 10 non-profit housing counseling agencies throughout the state, which use the data to target their services to those homeowners most at-risk.

""The information that we gather from the pre-foreclosure notices allows the banking department and the counseling agencies that we work with to better identify and target areas of at-risk homeowners before they fall into the foreclosure process,"" said Richard H. Neiman, superintendent of banks for New York state. ""Homeowners are not only notified of the risks that they face but also about the foreclosure prevention services that are available to them.""

In addition, new regulations that impose standards on the business practices of mortgage loan servicers and establish new protections for homeowners went into effect October 1.

These rules, originally issued by the department in August, include a duty for servicers to help homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures by pursuing loss mitigation and provide clear standards for handling foreclosure prevention efforts.

About Author: Heather Cernoch

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