In the midst of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an executive order that will halt mortgage collection along with foreclosure and eviction proceedings for a 90-day period in New York. The news comes as a sense of relief for homeowners but may also leave many with lingering questions as to what this ‘90 day-period’ means for their homes.

President and Founder of the Law Offices of Patrick Binakis, P.C., Patrick Binakis, Esq., a foreclosure defense attorney, reflects on the recent measures pertaining to the effects of COVID-19 crisis on homeowners.

“It is important for borrowers to take advantage of this opportune moment as it pertains to their homes. As an attorney who has previously represented lenders and now represents borrowers, I have an advantage of knowing the thought process of banks and servicers during foreclosure actions,” said Patrick Binakis, Esq.

More specifically, Cuomo’s provisions on mortgage collection will serve as a moratorium, meaning that while payments are currently on hold, they are to be made up at a future date for those struggling with financial hardship. Moreover, foreclosure auctions and evictions are at a halt as Courts across the state are limiting new filings, canceling upcoming auctions and postponing upcoming appearances, per an administrative order signed by Chief Administrative Judge, Lawrence Marks. What does this mean for borrowers?

The Court’s curtailing of new foreclosure filings grants borrowers a temporary reprieve from the concerns associated with scheduled sale dates and auctions. This breathing room provides borrowers with an opportunity to negotiate the status of their mortgages in the form of loss mitigation options, such as a loan modification application. The Code of Federal Regulations provides certain protections that prohibit the bank from continuing the litigation of a foreclosure case when a completed loan modification (or other loss mitigation option) has been submitted to the lender more than 37 days prior to a scheduled sale date. Consequently, borrowers are in a prime position to apply for a loan modification application due to the current freeze in the court system and the extended timeline to apply.

While Courts across the state are stalled, the Law Offices of Patrick Binakis, P.C., is servicing distressed borrowers across the five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester County, Putnam County, Rockland County, Ulster County, and Dutchess County. The firm can assist those who are looking to apply for a loan modification, forbearance agreement, short sale, deed-in-lieu or litigate their foreclosure case.