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CBS 2 New York: Experts: Westchester, Rockland Counties Becoming Foreclosure Alley

November 22, 2013

Janelle Burrell for CBS 2 New York

SCARSDALE, N.Y. (CBS New York) — A startling trend is happening in some of our area’s most ritzy communities — a foreclosure wave is affecting an income bracket that may surprise you.

Their price tags range from $500,000 to five times as much in upper middle class homes to sprawling mansions across affluent areas of Westchester and Rockland counties. But beyond some of their walls, there’s a very harsh reality.

A Rockland couple asked that their identity remain concealed. They are now in the middle a foreclosure battle with their bank. When the husband lost his job, the couple got behind on payments. Even with his new job, they now owe $780,000 on their home, which is worth just $500,000.

“You just feel like you’re this horrible person, that you have this dark, deep secret and you want to be able to talk to somebody about it. But you feel that you would get shunned upon,” the wife told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell on Friday.

“It’s kind of like an embarrassment. How did it get here? How did I end up in this situation? What did we do to deserve this?” the husband added.

Their attorney, Linda Tirelli, said she has been so inundated with foreclosures; they are now the only cases she handles.

“The flood gates are starting to open,” she said. “More and more people are underemployed and simply not making the same salaries they were making before,” Tirelli said.

Real estate experts say even in upscale communities like Scarsdale, on average 1 in every 7 homes is in foreclosure.

“Basically, the second-worst year we’ve seen in the last 10 in terms of volume,” Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni said. “We’re getting 2,400, 2,500 filings, which is an enormous amount, especially for an affluent county like Westchester.”

The Rockland couple mentioned earlier promised to continue their fight, so their home can remain their own.

“We want to stay in our home. We want to finish raising our children in our home and it’s a very difficult situation,” the wife added.


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