Individuals who are seriously delinquent with their mortgage payments or for those who have actually received that thick packet of foreclosure papers have one very important concern. They want to know how long they have to live in their house before they am thrown out. In New York it takes an average of over 900 days or 2.5 years to complete the foreclosure process. This is double the national average according to a recent New York Law Journal article. The reason for the delay is the settlement conferences that are mandated in New York between the borrower and bank representative mediated by a referee. The purpose is to provide a mechanism and opportunity for both parties to negotiate in good faith towards a resolution of the delinquency. In most cases there is an attempt to facilitate a potential loan modification provided by the bank to the borrower. However, these meetings get bogged down by both sides. The banks often do not have representative at these who have the authority to make a decision. Banks are notorious for misplacing documents. Borrowers are often remiss in providing all the documents in a timely manner. There are numerous adjournments and lots of finger pointing. Who acted in good faith? Who acted in bad faith? In the meantime, the foreclosure cases stay on the court docket for years. The New York State Department of Financial Services is proposes changes to accelerate the process, especially for those homes that have been abandoned by the homeowner. Additionally, the proposed law would enable the referee hearing these cases to impose sanctions upon the wrongdoer, be it the borrower or the lender. Time will tell if the backlog of foreclosure cases will be substantially reduced with any new legal provisions affecting the foreclosure process. For now you will not be thrown out so quickly. Stay tuned. If you need an experienced Bronx/Westchester attorney, call our office.