Given its location, it is small wonder that Nassau has seen explosive growth since the end of World War II. However, the decline in home values – accompanied by a spike in unemployment – that have plagued the United States in recent years have not spared Nassau County. As a result, many residents arestruggling to pay their mortgages, the balances of which often exceed the market values of their collateral.
Recently, foreclosure filings in Nassau have exceeded 7,000 in one year. According to the New York State Comptroller, the foreclosure process runs its course in two and a half years, all the while depressing home values in the adjacent neighborhoods. One New York law firm that specializes in distressed real estate estimates that 26,341 Nassau County homes are facing foreclosure in 2012.
Fortunately, programs exist to grant anxious homeowners some breathing room. Originating in the halls of government or with lending institutions themselves, such loan modification products can reduce the interest rate, extend the term, or even reduce the principal owed. The net effect is to lower the monthly payment to a manageable figure.
While this is good news for Nassau County residents eager to keep their properties, caution is advised when making new financial agreements. Both the federal and New York state governments have guaranteed mortgage modification loans for the purpose of preventing foreclosures. Yet modifying an existing mortgage is frequently more tedious and time-consuming than simply refinancing. More documents are involved and – with each piece of paper – new liabilities may be assumed. From initial application to closing, the homeowner is signing questionnaires, disclosures, representations and warranties. Legal exposure accompanies such forms. Accordingly, the modification applicant should secure the services of an attorney.
Nassau County has modification attorneys who are experienced in real estate transactions in general and mortgage modifications in particular. To begin with, a lawyer seasoned in this subject can tell a client whether or not modification is the best solution to an impending foreclosure. Furthermore, if a mortgage modification is desirable, the modification attorney will negotiate with the lender on the client’s behalf. Knowing the homeowner’s situation and the applicable law, a lawyer can deal with a bank from a position of authority. This credibility can translate into favorable terms for the borrower. Significantly, an attorney will review the closing documents to make sure there are no unintended commitments made.
Choosing a Nassau County modification attorney is ideal, since these professionals know the local market conditions. In addition, they usually have good contacts among local realtors, government officials and lenders. For those considering mortgage modification as a way of keeping their homes, a Nassau County modification attorney should be the first point of contact.