County Clerk Idoni Urges At-Risk Homeowners to Get Help Now
Jan. 14, 2010
While the country tries to recover from a serious economic crisis that is plaguing many key financial sectors, the news isn’t any better for New York as foreclosure filings continue to rise. More troubling is in Westchester County, where the numbers are growing at an alarming rate. The number of foreclosure filings in the last quarter of 2009 was more than four times as high at 922 filings as they were during the same quarter of 2008 when 243 filings were recorded. “A foreclosure action, which is filed in the Westchester County Clerk’s office is the first step of a process that can result in the loss of a home or building,” stated County Clerk Timothy C, Idoni. “However,” continued Idoni, “Westchester homeowners need to know that commencement of a foreclosure action or filing does not mean that their home will ultimately be lost to foreclosure, especially if they get help.”
The county clerk’s office reports that the increase in the number of foreclosure filings in 2009 reached an all time high of 3,113 or 907 more filings than the 2,206 recorded in 2008. There is encouraging news however as the number of judgments resulting in foreclosure or actual loss of a home for the last quarter of 2009 -186- were lower than 2008 when 215 judgments were recorded. Judgments were also significantly lower for the year with 732 compared to a high of 1,033 in 2008.
“If you are at risk of foreclosure, seek help immediately,” urged County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni, whose office records all foreclosure filings. “Don’t wait until it becomes too late to save your home,” he cautioned, emphasizing how foreclosures can hurt our neighborhoods, our families and severely impact municipal budgets and services. “And while judgments were down in 2009, the troubling rise in commencements of foreclosures is a clear indicator that more at-risk Westchester homeowners need to start now to pursue efforts to avoid losing their homes,” said Idoni. He urged residents to consider the following:
- Avoid being subject to legal action by not falling behind in your mortgage payments. If you receive a warning letter from your bank or lender, or concerned that you will fall behind on payments, seek help now. Westchester Residential Opportunities (WRO), a non-profit housing agency with offices in White Plains and Mount Vernon, conducts Mortgage Default Orientation Sessions most Tuesdays in their White Plains office. Call a trained counselor at 428-4507 or visit http://www.wroinc.org/ to see how they can help you.
- You don’t have to lose your home, even if you are served with foreclosure papers. Do not throw in the towel and give up. Try to enter into a repayment plan, secure a modified loan, refinance with another lender or sell your home on your own to avoid foreclosure.
- Avoid falling victim to foreclosure rescue scams. As foreclosure rates climb, so do the number of mortgage foreclosure scams targeting at-risk homeowners. Don’t make a bad situation worse by falling prey to these scam operations. Only seek help from a reputable counseling agency or a trusted attorney to guide you through the process.
- The Westchester County Clerk is the Clerk for the Supreme Court where foreclosure actions are heard. The public can visit the Legal Division located at 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays to look up legal records, judgments, liens, lis pendens, and other business records. For more information on our Legal Division, please call 995-3070 or visit our website at http://www.westchesterclerk.com/.