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The economic crisis of 2008 is over. All indicators show that the national economy is humming along. Yet, Long Island is currently mired in an foreclosure epidemic that shows little, if any signs of easing. For instance, in Suffolk County, at the end of 2016, there were just over 14,000 pending foreclosure actions, with approximately 300 new actions being filed each month. These statistics far exceed any other county in the state.Given the economic recovery, the causes of the epidemic must lay elsewhere. As a Supreme Court Justice assigned to a Foreclosure Part, I have concluded the cause is rooted, in part, in the unintended consequences of legislative actions designed to help homeowners.

New York is one of the 40 percent of states that require judicial foreclosures, which involves the filing of a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose a mortgage. The remaining 60 percent of the states utilize a non-judicial foreclosure process, where the borrower pre-authorizes the sale of property to pay off the balance of the loan and the creditor may not seek a deficiency judgment for the balance due and owing. Non-judicial foreclosures are intended to be quick and inexpensive.

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