Westchester Foreclosure Filings Surge In First Half Of 2013

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Foreclosure numbers are soaring in Westchester County, according to the Westchester County clerk's office.
Foreclosure numbers are soaring in Westchester County, according to the Westchester County clerk's office. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Foreclosure filings on houses in Westchester County surged to their highest point since the housing crash of 2008, with nearly 1,500 foreclosures reported in the first half of 2013.

The Westchester County Clerk's office reported 1,426 foreclosure actions started between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year, as compared with 824 during the same period last year.

The number of foreclosures surpassed the number at the height of the 2008 housing crisis, when first half numbers reached 1,410 foreclosures.

Foreclosure numbers had been trending in a positive direction, with only 824 foreclosures reported in the first half of 2012. That was the lowest amount of foreclosures since 2006.

The negative foreclosure numbers come on the heels of national news that housing prices have increased 12.2-percent since last year.

Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni cautioned Westchester residents facing foreclosure in a statement to be wary of foreclosure schemes.

He recommended contacting Westchester Residential Opportunities (WRO), a non-profit housing agency with offices in White Plains and Mount Vernon to get information on foreclosures.

Click here to see the full report.

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If you're a property owner in Westchester County who's living in Port Chester, this news should come as no surprise. We're dealing with school taxes that are absolutely crushing, and there's no real chance of relief, as more and more children are projected to enter the school system locally. Local taxes are driving many residential property values into the dirt. Add to that the brilliant new (and ridiculous) rules pertaining to what it takes to sell or just refi a home in Port Chester and you may be wondering what you did to deserve such punishment. (I guess the taxes alone haven't been bad enough. Now it can cost an arm and a leg just to TRY to get out.) Here, as your taxes go up, the only way to snag a buyer is to keep lowering your price to the point where a buyer thinks it's a fair enough deal, which is why values just keep going down in good old Port Chester. But, as alluded to, just the process of selling a piece of property in this village has become an exercise in futility for many a homeowner who has tried to do that recently. Port Chester has unique new rules when it comes to selling property -- very, very special rules. So, the above article about a rise in foreclosures is no surprise to this homeowner. I believe NYS and Westchester County are renowned for high taxes: a double-whammy. That's bad enough. But, if you live in Port Chester and you're a homeowner, all I can say is you have my sympathy.

ECat we in Mt. Vernon understand your pain. The Corruption of Mayor Davis, his staff and the Board of Education has made this city an undesireable place to live. Home values have significantly disintegrated and any piece of real estate north east / north west of Fleetwood is paying for the entire city. An average homes real estate taxes on that part of town is above $18,000 and you cannot nor would not even send your child to any of the public schools in Mt. Vernon. Having lived here for over 40 years I have to admit, this town is at its all time low adn foreclosures at an all time high..its so very very sad.

It's not only so "very very sad", as you wrote, it's disgusting and disheartening. I appreciate all that you wrote. What's especially disturbing is I know of no one who has any faith in the community leadership's ability to turn things around for those of us who work hard, pay taxes and play by the rules. We all know the taxes will only go higher and the property values will correspondingly go lower thanks to what amounts to a vicious cycle. On the other hand, I would imagine someone in Mt. Vernon can sell their home if it's priced a little below the current market value. As for my particular property in my little village, I can only sell to an all-cash buyer (and at a substantial loss, I've learned). That's been the box I've been in for well over a year thanks to how Port Chester's unprecedented new process for selling or refinancing a home affects me. In a word, it's "complicated" -- not to mention personally very costly -- but I believe it's the village that has ill-advisedly, even recklessly, decided to make it this way. I wish you luck in your situation. And it will be interesting to see what happens to Mt. Vernon and Port Chester in the coming years, especially as more and more homeowners in Port Chester discover that the concept of "my home is my castle" isn't what it used to be -- far from it.

I thought the realtors were telling us that everything was all sunshine and lollipops in the home sales market? They were telling us the same thing in 2007.