Orange County mortgage foreclosure crisis “an epidemic”

It just gets better, part of Newburgh is in the school district:

MONTGOMERY – August 6th

One in 208 households in Orange County faces foreclosure filing, according to the State Banking Department and RealtyTrac.

That was the highest ratio of filings in the state in the second quarter, according to the reports.

That is a “mind-boggling number,” said Alice Dickinson, the executive director of Orange County Rural Development Advisory Corporation. “If this was a disease, we would call it an epidemic; there would be bodies on the street.”

Dickinson said she is not surprised by the increase. The agency receives hundreds of requests for foreclosure help each month.

“It’s being fueled by people who are losing their jobs, that are losing part of their jobs,” she said. “By that I mean they may not be losing their entire jobs, but they may have had a second job or they may have been cut back on their overtime hours and a lot of folks took out a mortgage predicated upon keeping that income in the long term and that’s not happening. These folks are running into a problem now.”

Orange County, with 643 foreclosure filings in the second quarter, had an increase of more than 61 percent from the first quarter. “Quarterly increase trends, such as the ones we are seeing in Orange County, are a strong reminder that the crisis is not over and we must continue to fund sustainable, affordable ways to keep families in their homes,” said Richard Neiman, superintendent of Banks for New York.

Dickinson said her agency offers foreclosure prevention, mitigation and negotiation services for those in need.

Meanwhile, Democratic Orange County Executive candidate Patricia O’Dwyer called on the County Legislature “to immediately pass legislation that would lift the burden of paying property taxes on an annual basis and allow those homeowners to pay their taxes on a semi-annual or quarterly basis.” She said Rockland and Sullivan counties have passed just such legislation.

“During these difficult economic times, it is imperative that government give people value for their tax dollars,” she said. “What better value could be given than help so a family could remain in their home? The cost of government should not become an additional burden. Just as families are adjusting their spending, so too should Orange County government.”

MidHudson News

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