At any given time, there are thousands of people behind on their mortgages in the Western New York region. In fact, the most recent statistics we have reviewed show that there are at least 20,000 Western New Yorkers who are behind at least 60 days on their mortgage payments. This is a staggering number considering that this is considered to be one of the more stable housing markets around the Country.
When a homeowner is behind on mortgage payments, there are many fears and questions that go through their mind, such as:
1. When will the bank start foreclosure against me?
2. If foreclosure is started, will I be evicted from my home right away?
3. What are my rights in a foreclosure action?
4. How long does foreclosure take?
In general, the foreclosure process takes much longer than people think. The following is a summary of what happens when a homeowner starts to miss payments:
Notice of Default - Typically when a homeowner falls 60-90 days behind on mortgage payments, he or she will recieve a notice of default from the lender (sometimes called an “acceleration notice”). This notice is basically telling the homeowner that the bank is demanding payment in full on the promissory note — not just the delinquent payments. In most cases, the bank will give the homeowner one final chance to get caught up. If the debtor does not bring the mortgage current, the bank will likely refer the mortgage out to an attorney to commence foreclosure proceedings.
“YOU COULD LOSE YOUR HOME. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING
“As of ___, your home loan is ___ days in default. Under New York
State Law, we are required to send you this notice to inform you that
you are at risk of losing your home. You can cure this default by making
the payment of _____ dollars by ____.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, you should know that
there are several options available to you that may help you keep your
home. Attached to this notice is a list of government approved housing
counseling agencies in your area which provide free or very low-cost
counseling. You should consider contacting one of these agencies
immediately. These agencies specialize in helping homeowners who are
facing financial difficulty. Housing counselors can help you assess your
financial condition and work with us to explore the possibility of
modifying your loan, establishing an easier payment plan for you, or
even working out a period of loan forbearance. If you wish, you may also
contact us directly at __________ and ask to discuss possible options.
While we cannot assure that a mutually agreeable resolution is
possible, we encourage you to take immediate steps to try to achieve a
resolution. The longer you wait, the fewer options you may have.
If this matter is not resolved within 90 days from the date this
notice was mailed, we may commence legal action against you (or sooner
if you cease to live in the dwelling as your primary residence.)
If you need further information, please call the New York State
Banking Department’s toll-free helpline at 1-877-BANK-NYS
(1-877-226-5697) or visit the Department’s website at