It takes longer to foreclose on homes in New York than any other state—and it's getting longer every month. Two years ago, the state began requiring that banks and borrowers attend settlement conferences before a foreclosure takes place. While the conferences are popular with borrowers and have succeeded in helping some families keep their homes, banks have been reluctant to participate. That, and recent revelations that some lenders have improperly submitted foreclosure documents, has prompted judges to take a harsher stance with lenders. The foreclosure process typically begins after a borrower misses three consecutive monthly payments and ends once the lender repossesses the home or the borrower brings the loan current. Nationwide, there were 2.1 million mortgages in some stage of foreclosure as of October, according to research firm LPS Applied Analytics.