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$50 Million Secured to Assist New York Homeowners

December 9, 2010

On March 31, 2008 Empire Justice issued the first statewide analysis of subprime loans in default and foreclosure. “Curbing the Mortgage Meltdown: The Impact of Foreclosures on New York’s Economy and Upstate and Long Island Communities,” included mapped data provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Though the data was only a subset of a greater problem as not all subprime loans were captured in the numbers, the report was compelling in showing distribution patterns of subprime loans. The data showed how bad things already were in terms of defaults and foreclosures, as well as how bad things were about to become as the interest rates on Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) reset.

Empire Justice held a day-long legislative briefing on the report and recommendations for averting disaster. Working with other advocates, the data was shared at meetings across the state, which led to the allocation of $25 million in both the 2008 and 2009 state budgets to provide direct assistance to homeowners in subprime loans. Funding went to non-profit agencies that provide direct housing counseling and to legal services to assist homeowners.

Empire Justice also pressed for greater statutory protections for those at risk of foreclosure and on August 5, 2008 the Governor signed into law the 2008 Foreclosure Prevention and Subprime Lending Act, which provides safeguards for homeowners in default and prospective relief by creating a framework for more responsible lending.

Thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure have greater legal protection and are now receiving critical legal services and counseling assistance they need to protect their homes.


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