NY Sees 23% Decrease in Filings

New York-Foreclosure filings were made on 11,017 properties in New York during the first quarter of 2009, representing a 23% decrease compared to the first quarter of 2008 and a 32% increase over the fourth quarter of 2008, according to data from the New York State Banking Department and RealtyTrac.

Driving the increase was an 80% increase in lis pendens filings. The banking department and RealtyTrac said they had anticipated the increase as a result of the state's new legislation, which went into effect in September 2008, and required a 90-day pre-foreclosure waiting period.

This created a sharp decrease in New York foreclosures in the fourth quarter of 2008, and first-quarter 2009 numbers represent a bounce from the fourth-quarter lows but are still substantially below year-ago levels.

Suffolk County, with 1,773 filings in the first quarter, replaced Queens as the county with the highest number of filings. On a nationwide basis, New York's overall ranking dropped from 35th at the end of 2008 to 37th at the end of the first quarter.

"While New York's overall rank among the other states continues to improve, we must not become complacent. There are still pockets where foreclosure levels continue to rise at alarming rates," said Richard Neiman, superintendent of banks for New York.

"Four of our counties alone, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn (Kings) and Nassau,represent 50% of the total foreclosure activity in the state."

Compared to the fourth quarter, the first quarter had no change in the counties comprising the top 10 most impacted by foreclosure filings." Mr. Neiman said the order of the top 10 changed with Suffolk County moving into first place and replacing Queens, which is now No. 2.Lis pendens filings in the first quarter represented 69% of total filings. These that occur early in the foreclosure process represent less than 40% of total filings for the country as a whole. Despite the increase, New York continues to document a lower rate than other states.

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