Thousands of Long Island residents could have a rough road ahead as they remain behind on their mortgages and the foreclosure moratorium comes to a close.
Data reported by Newsday show 14,500 Long Island residents are behind on their mortgages. The report comes as the state’s foreclosure moratorium is set to come to an end on Jan. 15, potentially putting thousands in danger of losing their homes.
The percentage of mortgages in delinquency is similar across counties. In Nassau County, the 90-day delinquency rate is 2.06 percent, while in Suffolk County counts 2.12 percent. Those are both marked improvements from peaks last year of 6.44 percent and 6.28 percent, respectively.
Still, the rates are more than double the pre-pandemic numbers, according to Newsday.
Despite the looming end of the moratorium, many of those behind on mortgages may still be able to avoid having their homes foreclosed upon. Homeowners can work with lenders or agencies on forbearance plans or loan modifications. People can also take advantage of the hot housing market to sell their homes, though that can be a lengthy and uprooting process.
Homeowners can also apply for relief from the $539 million Homeowner Assistance Fund, a federal program that reopened for applications on Jan. 3. Among the assistance the fund can provide are mortgage payments, property taxes and utility bills.
New York will review applications on a first-come, first-serve basis for the federal program.
Renters in the state may not be getting additional rent relief funds anytime soon, but a vital protection is still on its way. Last week, a judge ruled that the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance must reopen the rent relief portal to tenant applications.
While the program has virtually exhausted its funds, an application insulates tenants from eviction while their paperwork is being processed. The statewide eviction ban ends Jan. 15.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner