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Facing foreclosure can be overwhelming, but you're not alone. We're here to answer questions, listen, and help you explore your options.

What is foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the legal action a lender takes when a homeowner is unable to pay his or her mortgage. When the borrower cannot pay off the outstanding debt, negotiate a mortgage modification, or sell the property through a short sale, the property goes to auction. If the property does not sell, the lender takes possession of it.

How foreclosure works in New York

A foreclosure in New York takes, on average, over two years, and there are many steps that must be taken before a home can be foreclosed upon. It's important to keep in mind that most foreclosures don't reach a foreclosure sale. In New York City, only about 20% of properties in foreclosure are sold through an auction or transferred to bank ownership.

Pre-Foreclosure Steps

Homeowner falls behind on the mortgage

Acceleration Letter

The lender sends the homeowner an Acceleration Letter, which is generally sent after a homeowner is at least two or three months in default.

90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Filing Notice

The lender sends the homeowner a notice at least 90 days before filing a foreclosure summons and complaint.

Foreclosure Steps
Lis Pendens and Summons & Complaint

The lender initiates a foreclosure lawsuit against the homeowner.

Affadavit Service

The lender files proof with the court that it properly served the homeowner with notice of the lawsuit.

Homeowner Has Opportunity To Answer Lawsuit

The lender files proof with the court that it properly served the homeowner with notice of the lawsuit.

Request For Judicial Intervention and Attorney Affirmation

The lender files required documents to move the case forward to settlement conferences.

Settlement Conferences

The lender and homeowner attend one or more settlement conferences, where they meet before a judge or court official to see if they can reach a mututally agreeable solution.

Pre-Trial Motions, Discovery, and Summary Judgment

If no resolution is reached through the settlement conference process, the pre-trial litigation process begins. Any defenses the homeowner raised may be litigated at this stage. The lender may file a Summary Judgement Motion or a Default Motion


If the case is not resolved at the Summary Judgement phase, it will go to trial.

Calculation of Amount Owed

If the lender prevails, the court appoints a referee to prepare a report calculating the outstanding balance on the mortgage.

Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale

The court enters a judgement of foreclosure and sale that appoints a referee to auction the property.


At least 30 days before auction, a public notice must be circulated that an auction will occur.


The court-appointed referee conducts a public auction of the property.

In danger of missing a mortgage payment?

There are all sorts of reasons people fall behind on their mortgage payments. However, there are resources to help you fulfill you homeownership obligations given your financial realities.

Protect yourself and your home

Most people in foreclosure are inundated by mailings or see signs on street corners offering quick fixes and guarantees -- many for a price. Don't fall for these scams! Guarantees and up-front fees are all illegal methods that fraudsters use.