Foreclosure actions filed in Westchester County dropped sharply in 2016 from previous years, while the number of court judgments against defaulted property owners last year was the third highest in the county in the last 10 years, according to Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni.
The 1,175 foreclosure judgments issued in Westchester in 2016 was only six fewer than in 2015, when the courts disposed of 409 more foreclosure cases than in 2014, as a logjam of mortgage financing and legal paperwork from the housing market crash began to be cleared by lenders. In 2012, by comparison, 208 foreclosure judgments were issued in the county.
A total of 1,412 foreclosure actions were started in Westchester last year, a 33 percent decrease from 2015. Foreclosure filings in 2009 reached an all-time high in Westchester of 3,123, but have steadily declined since 2013.
Idoni said 316 foreclosure actions were filed in the first quarter this year, a nearly 24 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2016. Judges issued 248 foreclosure judgments from January through March, according to the county clerk.
“The figures in filings are certainly encouraging,” Idoni said, “showing that fewer homeowners are entering foreclosure. The judgment side is still too high, but we hope to see a decrease in those through fewer filings and increased awareness of counseling and financial options.”