Delaying Foreclosure: Borrowers Keep Homes Without Paying
By Les Christie | CNNMoney.com – 5 hours ago
Delinquent borrowers facing foreclosure are learning that they can stay in their homes for years, as long as they're willing to put up a fight.
Among the tactics: Challenging the bank's actions, waiting to file paperwork right up until the deadline, requesting the lender dig up original paperwork or, in some extreme cases, declaring bankruptcy.
Nationwide, the average time it takes to process a foreclosure -- from the first missed payment to the final foreclosure auction -- has climbed to 674 days from 253 days just four years ago, according to LPS Applied Analytics.
It takes much longer than that in Florida, where the process averages 1,027 days, nearly 3 years. In D.C., foreclosure averages 1,053 days and delinquent borrowers in New York often stay in their homes for an average of 906 days.
And while some borrowers are looking for ways to make good with lenders and get their homes back, many aren't paying a dime. Nearly 40% of homeowners in default have not made a payment in at least two years, according to LPS.
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Many of these homeowners are staying in their homes based on a technicality. There is rarely any dispute over whether or not they have stopped paying their mortgage, said David Dunn, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells in New York, who represents banks and other financial institutions in foreclosure cases.
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