According to a new report approximately 30,000 New York City homeowners, mostly in minority communities, are currently at risk a foreclosure. This situation is in contrast to reports which indicate that the United States is finally beginning to pull out of the foreclosure crisis, which saw millions of homes repossessed across the country. In New York, however, foreclosures have risen at least 15% from 2013 levels, and have seen a 21% increase over the past 23 months.
New York City lawmakers, led by Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein Klein (D-Bronx) and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, are attempting to extend a law which requires banks to make foreclosure mitigation efforts before they are able to repossess an individual’s home. The 2009 law has helped numerous people avoid losing their homes, such as 51 year-old Yvonne Mitchell, a nurse who was at risk of foreclosure for over two years after falling behind on mortgage payments. New York City currently has 29,729 homeowners in a similar position, who have missed multiple mortgage payments as of May.
The demographics of the residents facing foreclosure is highly skewed toward minorities. Approximately 80%, or 24,000 people, in pre-foreclosure live in minority communities in New York. Many experts believe that the high number of minorities facing foreclosure stems from bank practices which targeted minorities for loans that they could not afford during the real estate boom.
The president of the New York Bankers Association, President Mike Smith, says that his group will not oppose the bill.
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