Foreclosure Law in New York
Foreclosure in Suffolk County, New York is a process that permits a lender to take possession of the property that was used to secure their loan, in the event that the borrower fails to repay it.
If an ordinary consumer faces foreclosure, it typically involves a home that was purchased with a mortgage from a bank. The bank will typically try to sell the house at a public option, with the hope of at least covering the remaining debt, to avoid taking a large loss.
In every state, including New York, homeowners have the option to go through what is known as a foreclosure by judicial sale. Essentially, this means a court will oversee the sale of the house to ensure that the bank makes reasonable efforts to sell it for as high a price as possible (to help avoid a deficiency that the borrower may have to pay), and to ensure that any money which might be left over from the sale (after the balance on the mortgage is paid) goes to the borrower.
In some states, original mortgages are identified as "non-recourse" loans, making the above problem a non-issue. This essentially means that once the mortgaged property is sold by the lender, the debt is discharged, even if the sale nets less than the remaining balance on the mortgage. The borrower will simply have to write this off as a loss. However, this usually does not apply to refinanced or second mortgages.
How to Possibly Avoid Foreclosure in Suffolk County, New York
To prevent foreclosure, communicating with your lender is key. Let's face it - if you're in a case where foreclosure looks like a possibility, your life is not going to be easy for some time. While it's challenging to step up and acknowledge unpleasant facts, doing so will make your life much easier in the long run. If your lender is aware of your situation, it's far more likely that you'll be able to work something out with them.
You should be mindful of the fact that your bank wants you to make your monthly mortgage payments - they likely aren't scheming to trick you into giving up your home. This isn't out of altruism, it's due to the fact that foreclosure is almost never as lucrative for the bank in the long run than a mortgage that is paid in full over a period of years or decades, with interest accruing the whole time. For a bank, a foreclosure is just a last resort to cut their losses.
If your financial situation suddenly changes, your lender may be willing to change the terms of your loan, at least temporarily, permitting for lower monthly payments. If this means that they will be able to get some money from you, with default as the alternative, it can become an attractive option for everyone involved.
As a last resort, you might consider a "short sale," which results in loss of the home, but it typically leads to a great deal of the debt on the mortgage being forgiven. Typically, a short sale in New York involves selling the house for whatever price it can fetch. The proceeds from the sale go to the lender, and if it sells for less than what's left on the mortgage, the balance of the debt is forgiven.
Can a Suffolk County, New York real estate attorney help?
If you live in Suffolk County, New York and believe that your house is in danger of being foreclosed, you may have more options and protections than you think. You may not know what all of them are, but an efficient real estate lawyer probably will.