Average Foreclosure In NYC Area Now Takes Longer Than 3 Years

Aside from being the title of a totally rad Olsen Twins movie, the phrase “New York minute” implies that things move rapidly in the Big Apple. One exception is the home foreclosure process, which can drag out to more than 1,100 days in the NYC metro area.

Bloomberg and RealtyTrac have put together a list of the 10 U.S. counties with the longest foreclosure times and Brooklyn (aka Kings County) tops that list with an average of 1,187 days.

Joining Brooklyn on the list are two more of NYC’s five boroughs — The Bronx (#3, with an average of 1,172 days) and Queens (#8, with 1,043 days on average).

In fact, the rest of the top 10 is either on Long Island or in North/Central New Jersey. The fastest average time on that list belongs to Mercer County, NJ, which clocked in at 988 days.

Part of the reason for the delay is that New York and New Jersey both require judicial review of all foreclosures. Given the population density in the NYC metro area, it’s not surprising that courts may be backlogged with cases.

Additionally, the number of mortgage modifications granted in the NYC area is second only to those handed out in Los Angeles.

Bloomberg’s list of the 10 fastest counties for foreclosures is slightly more diverse, geographically speaking, though five of the top 10 are located in Texas, which does not require judicial review of foreclosures.

The fastest county in the country is Guadalupe County, TX, which is near — but does not include — the city of San Antonio. Foreclosures there only require 46.6 days on average, barely nosing out runner-up, Saint Louis County in Minnesota, where foreclosures average only 46.8 days from start to finish.

Rice County, MN, further south in the state came in #3 with a 51-day average. The slowest of the fastest counties is Banks County, Georgia, at 70.3 days.

Both ends of the foreclosure race can be problematic to consumers. When the process drags on too long, properties can fall into disrepair, lowering the value of neighboring properties. It also makes the foreclosed property harder to sell at auction.

On the flip side, an overly quick foreclosure can mean that a homeowner loses their property without proper review of all the documents or without giving the homeowner an opportunity to come to an agreement that will allow them to remain in the home either by adjusting the mortgage or by converting them into rental tenants.

Brooklyn Shelters Homeowners With Longest Foreclosures [Bloomberg]


Edit Your Comment

  1. nybiker says:

    Oh goodie, I still have time before they start knocking on my door.

  2. Lyn Torden says:

    I blame the mortgage companies for preferring to file for foreclosure, rather than being flexible with the owner, such as refinancing with today’s rates.

  3. FatLynn says:

    So…you can live rent-free for three years, now?

    • deathbecomesme says:

      NO! Means you get to rent it out for 3 years and pocket all the profit!

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I was thinking this. If your credit is shot anyway, why not live in the house for 3 years, just pay for basic utilities, and hide away any extra cash someplace? But not in a safetly deposit box, as the bank may get wise to that :)

      At least that way, when you’re finally out on your behind, you’d have a nice nest egg to start over with.

      • nybiker says:

        Well, I lost my job and except for unemployment and the Census gig in 2010, I haven’t much luck finding a job. I am just about done with my savings. I want to stay in the house, so while I haven’t paid my mortgage for a while now, I did ask Citi back then if we could change things temporarily so that I would still be in good stead with them. They said no. And since they bought my loan from ABN AMRO, it’s not like there was somebody at the bank that knew me as a person and would be willing to help me.
        So, now my credit is no good. But I keep plugging away looking for work. I don’t have any ‘extra cash’ to sock away.

        • lettucefactory says:


          I’m a renter, so I do feel a little sour grapes – sometimes, a lot sour grapes – when I hear about people living in their houses for years without making payments because of the foreclosure backlog.

          But, when I get over my whiny self for a damn minute, I remember that for the most part, people are facing foreclosure because they’re broke. They don’t have jobs. They don’t have health insurance. They don’t have savings. They’re tapped out. No amount of time living rent-free would make up for that kind of stress. It’s such a shame the bank wouldn’t work with you; I don’t see how anyone benefits when people who make a good-faith effort to pay whatever they can pay are turned away.

          Though I saw an article in the Washington Post the other day that was positively glowing over the trend of investors buying houses by the metric ton and managing them as rentals instead of flipping them. I think that’s the wave of the future – struggling buyers kicked out, with pushy investors buying on the cheap and charging the highest rents they can get away with. These are the same assholes who happily inflated the housing bubble to epic proportions a few years ago just so they could make a few bucks – they will be just as selfish in their new role as landlords, but people who have foreclosures on their credit reports won’t have any other options.

          When I look at it this way, it doesn’t feel very useful to be annoyed at the person who is living “rent-free” for a while.

  4. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    it seems like it costs the banks so much more to deal with foreclosure than to just negotiate with the homeowner.
    three years is a lot of man hours in paperwork

  5. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Like the tag. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my favorite books.