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County changes foreclosure policy

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: County changes foreclosure policy
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New legislation marks the latest chapter in one Binghamton family's on-going saga to get their house back. YNN's Chris Whalen has more on the move by county lawmakers and for it means for people facing foreclosure.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y.--The home at 9 Arthur Street is at the center of an on-going battle in Broome County.

After being foreclosed on last year, the brother of its residents offered up all the money due to the county.

"My brother came forward from Maine when he found out and all of this and all of our headaches and legal fees, it could have all been avoided," said homeowner Halyna Kurylo.

But they were told it was too late. The due date, plus a 120 day grace period, had passed without any payment. The Kurylo's then went to the Broome County legislature, with the hope that lawmakers would vote on an exception to allow all debts to be paid.

That attempt, at a meeting two weeks ago, also failed, as legislators said they wanted to fix the process rather than fixing just one case.

Thursday, the legislature convened once again, this time changing its policy on the buyback of foreclosed homes. The 120 day grace period is gone and instead, the Director of Real Property can determine whether or not a property can be sold back depending on whether the owner can prove a hardship.

"I, myself, use my senior staff, we discuss these when they come up, but we have more information than this body on a particular property," said Kevin Keough, Director of Real Property for Broome County.

Meaning the Kurylo's will now have to wait to see what Keough and his staff decide on their case, something Halyna is worried about.

"This leaves it to the discretion of one person who is going to pre-judge you and is going to judge you and one person is going to be making that decision on whether a resident can buy back their property," Kurylo said.

The only other option for residents facing foreclosure: Special consideration from the legislature.

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