May 15th, 2020 by AHB
This kind of had me doing a double take at the title. I’ve always heard of “vacationing in The Hamptons”, but this really brings that point home. Looks like soon, that’s all some folks will be able to do!
Homeowners in the some of the toniest ZIP codes in the Hamptons are facing a frightening reality – they can’t afford to foot the bill for their high-priced homes, The Post has learned.
In the first three months of this year, banks have launched preliminary foreclosure actions – known as lis pendens proceedings – against a record 120 borrowers in East Hampton and Southampton towns.
Twenty percent of those borrowers live in homes that are worth more than $1 million, according to figures from the Suffolk County clerk.
And the list gets longer every week.
“This problem didn’t even exist before,” said John Brady, a broker with Coldwell Banker in East Hampton. “They used to pop up once in a while, and you wouldn’t even pay attention. Now you expect to see new ones every week.”
A total of 10 East End homes, including a massive Westhampton mansion, were foreclosed outright since the beginning of the year.
In addition, more than 800 East End homeowners – a mix of rich and middle-class people from Riverhead to Montauk – have been flagged by credit-monitoring companies this year for late payments.
Brady said the high-end, delinquent borrowers are finance types, lawyers and speculators who overextended themselves on second homes and investment properties.
The Post contacted 13 Hamptons homeowners currently in lis pendens for loans exceeding $1 million. None returned calls for comment.
Suffolk County Deputy Clerk Chris Como said that most homes in lis pendens manage to avoid foreclosure through emergency measures like a short sale or the rallying of funds. But appearance on the list, he said, is a sure sign of major financial trouble.
Como said banks don’t initiate foreclosure actions until a borrower falls severely behind in payments.
“These are people who are used to success,” Brady said. “There is a level of denial and embarrassment when I have to call [people] to ask about mortgage problems.”
Another top-selling East End broker who spoke anonymously said the area was bracing for fallout from impending Wall Street layoffs.
“That wave hasn’t even hit yet,” he said. “A lot of them who bought second homes are already trying to shed them.”
“You’ll always have the super-rich who can make moves out here no matter what,” the broker said. “But I think there’s a dose of reality on the way.”
Who’s Being Foreclosed On?
This list is not normally the type you’d see under this header. I guess a bad economy truly does affect everyone somehow:
- Janice Becker, a regular on the Southampton village social circuit, is facing foreclosure on her multimillion-dollar Wyandanch Lane property.
- Advertising veteran Ransel Potter is defaulting on a $1.8 million mortgage on an Amagansett parcel.
- Real-estate honcho John Conroy is in lis pendens for a $3.5 million mortgage on a Bridgehampton spread on West Pond Drive.
- Former UBS executive Marc Warren is in lis pendens on a $1 million mortgage for a Mitchells Lane pad in Bridgehampton.
- Investor Roger Thanhauser is trying to sell a home on Main Street in East Hampton village to avoid foreclosure.
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