A week or two ago it was learned that it takes nearly 1,000 days for a distressed property to wind its way through the foreclosure process in New York and New Jersey and, the assumption at the time was that these were extreme outliers … apparently not.
A CNN/Money report today indicates that in some areas it takes even longer and that the average duration is much higher than I would have guessed.
Nationwide, the average time it takes to process a foreclosure — from the first missed payment to the final foreclosure auction — has climbed to 674 days from 253 days just four years ago, according to LPS Applied Analytics.
It takes much longer than that in Florida, where the process averages 1,027 days, nearly 3 years. In D.C., foreclosure averages 1,053 days and delinquent borrowers in New York often stay in their homes for an average of 906 days.
And while some borrowers are looking for ways to make good with lenders and get their homes back, many aren’t paying a dime. Nearly 40% of homeowners in default have not made a payment in at least two years, according to LPS.
Many of these homeowners are staying in their homes based on a technicality. There is rarely any dispute over whether or not they have stopped paying their mortgage, said David Dunn, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells in New York, who represents banks and other financial institutions in foreclosure cases.
“In my experience, they never say, ‘I’m not delinquent’ or ‘I want to pay my bill but I’m confused over who to send it to,’ or ‘Oh my God, you mean I didn’t pay my mortgage?’ They’re not in technical default. They’re in default because they’re not paying,” he said.
The robo-signing debacle seems to have been a major factor in extending how long it takes to foreclose on a property and a thousand dollars spent on an attorney appears to be worth many times that amount in mortgage/rent payments that never have to be made.