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Mortgage Lending & Foreclosure Prevention

Consumers are faced with a variety of decisions and challenges when considering obtaining a mortgage to purchase a home or refinancing their current mortgage. They are doubly pressed when life circumstances cause them to go into default and when they are facing the possibility of foreclosure and losing their home.

Empire Justice Center has been working for over a decade to help assure that consumers have access to affordable, responsible mortgages and that their rights are protected when in foreclosure. This section of the website has information on state and federal laws to protect consumers with respect to mortgages and foreclosures, Empire Justice Center reports on mortgage lending and the foreclosure crisis, as well as resources to help consumers in default or at risk of foreclosure.

 


 

ARTICLES

Consumer Protection is a Civil Rights Issue
By National Council of La Raza
During the Great Recession, Latino* families lost an entire generation of wealth.1 The reckless behavior of financial institutions, including banks, credit card companies, and mortgage lenders helped bring about a financial crisis that cost Americans millions of jobs, billions in tax-payer funded bailouts, and trillions of lost retirement savings. The lack of consumer protections allowed unscrupulous lenders to target communities of color with unfair and abusive financial products. Read More

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures are Now Entitled to Mandatory Settlement Conferences
This year’s budget removed the exclusion of reverse mortgages from the definition of “home loan,” bringing reverse mortgage foreclosures into the mandatory settlement conference process. Read More

 


 

IN THE NEWS

Henrietta woman fights foreclosure to keep her house and wins
The foreclosure process can be maddening, even to attorneys who deal with it for a living... But free counseling and legal services can help distressed homeowners avoid certain pitfalls that can hurt a person’s chances of getting a loan modification, extension or lower interest rate. Read More


Empire Justice Statement on New FHFA Rules.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a rule requiring Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Banks, and the Office of Finance to adopt plans that promote inclusion. These entities will also have to develop policies that address reasonable accommodations for employees to observe their sincerely held religious beliefs. Read More


1930s Rochester redlining maps show discrimination
In the late 1930s, the federal Home Owners' Loan Corp. (HOLC) had the powerful responsibility of grading neighborhoods across the country to decide whether home mortgage refinancing there would be insured by the government. Read More


POLICY ADVOCACY

Empire Jusitce Comments on Protecting the Mortgage Insurance Fund
Empire Justice Center's comments focus on how HUD’s current foreclosure alternatives program for FHA-insured loans avoids unnecessary payment of insurance claims, and thus protects the mortgage insurance fund (Fund) and our communities. Read More


Joint Comments on Sterling Bancorp's Acquisition of Astoria Financial
We joined with other advocacy organizations representing Long Island to submit comments on Sterling Bancorp’s Proposed Acquisition of Astoria Financial Corporation. Read More



 


 

PUBLICATIONS

NYRL Report: Divergent Paths
Divergent Paths reveals wide variations in the implementation of foreclosure settlement conference rules. The wide variations in implementation have the potential to leave tens of thousands of New Yorkers at heightened risk of losing their homes. Read More

The Lingering Storm: Mortgage Lending Disparities on Long Island
The Lingering Storm: Mortgage Lending Disparities on Long Island examines mortgage lending, denial rates, and denial disparities in 2013. In an effort to combat our nation’s discriminatory housing policies, we offer several recommendations for policy makers at all levels of government. Read More

 


 

RESOURCES

Crime Victims Legal Network Project :
The Crime Victims Legal Network Project is a cutting edge, new federally-funded partnership between Empire Justice Center, the New York State Office of Victim Services, Pro Bono Net, and the Center for Human Services Research at the University at Albany. Read More

Welcome to the Foreclosure Guide :
This exciting and innovative new resource will help homeowners by providing a free, web-based, step-by-step guide through the foreclosure process, providing critical information that can help save their homes. Read More

Top Ten Ways The CFPB Can Help You With Financial Questions :
The U.S. PIRG Education Fund has put together this great resource of how the CFPB can help you. It includes information on how to make complaints to the CFPB. Read More

Tenants in Foreclosed Properties: What You Need to Know :
In New York, tenants have protections during and after a foreclosure. Read more to find out… Read More

TRAININGS AND EVENTS

New York's Foreclosure Process: From Standing to Settlement Conferences and Everything in Between
This presentation discusses and presents solutions to the procedural and substantive challenges in New York's Foreclosure Settlement Conference Process and updates practitioners on laws and regulations, legal issues, government programs, and resources to help homeowners facing foreclosure. Read More

Representing Homeowners at Mandatory Settlement Conferences
Mandatory settlement conferences are now an integral component to the foreclosure process for subprime loans. The governor has signed a new law that expands the settlement conferences to all residential loans. Pro Bono lawyers have been approved to represent homeowners for the limited capacity of these settlement conferences. This training addresses important considerations for lawyers willing to represent homeowners in this capacity. Read More

New Approaches to Stabilizing Homeowners and Communities in Western NY
This taped broadcast is geared towards housing counselors, legal services organizations, lenders, public officials, community-based organizations, and anyone who is concerned with the impact of the foreclosure crisis on homeowners and neighborhoods in the western part of the State. Discussion topics include information about housing counseling standards, specialized foreclosure trainings, State programs addressing the foreclosure issue, and successful approaches to reducing foreclosures, among other topics. Read More