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.
A.G. Schneiderman To Sue Wells Fargo, Announces Groundbreaking Servicing Agreement With Bank Of America
NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman enters settlement with Bank of America and files suit against Wells Fargo for failure to comply with the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement.
New York State Law Requires Certificate of Merit Filing with the Summons and Complaint in Residential Foreclosure Cases
The law addresses the “robo-signing” problem in residential foreclosure cases in which cases are filed based on false affidavits, lacking personal review to ensure the homeowner is in default and that the plaintiff is the proper owner and holder of the mortgage and note and possesses standing to sue. Read More
Advocates question ‘welfare liens’
A group of advocates for the poor are looking to overhaul the little-known system of ”welfare liens” that still exist in New York, which they say is one of just two states (Connecticut being the other) that still has such a policy. Read More
New Report Documents the Costs of Public Assistance Liens on Low-Income New Yorkers and the Critical Need for Repeal or Reform
Today, Empire Justice Center published a report describing and quantifying the hidden costs of public assistance for recipients who own homes. The report, “Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability,” provides an comprehensive analysis of New York’s use of Social Services Law §106, which allows Social Services Districts to recover public assistance paid to individuals who own their own homes, by taking a mortgage against the recipient’s property. Read More
Schneiderman announces $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase
Banking giant JPMorgan's $13 billion fine for its role in the housing crisis that ultimately led to the 2008 financial meltdown will have a real world impact on homeowners in New York. Read More
Confirm Rep. Mel Watt as Director of FHFA
These letters urge NYS Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to support the confirmation of Melvin Watt as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agenc Read More
Empire Justice urges Governor to sign OCA "Shadow Docket" bill as soon as possible
The legislation helps homeowners, communities (many of the properties stuck in the shadow docket are believed to be vacant), New York’s court system and will hasten New York’s protracted foreclosure process. The Governor needs to sign it into law to prevent any more cases from ending up in "legal limbo." Read More
Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability
This report provides an comprehensive analysis of New York’s use of Social Services Law §106, which allows Social Services Districts to recover public assistance paid to individuals who own their own homes, by taking a mortgage against the recipient’s property. The report also chronicles the legal background of the practice, the interplay between this policy and the push for foreclosure prevention, the need for detailed record keeping, and makes recommendations to ensure that debt is recovered against these mortgages only in the appropriate situations and for the correct amount. Read More
The Long Island Foreclosure Crisis: Stabilizing the communities most impacted by foreclosures in Nassau and Suffolk Counties
Study identifies hardest hit towns and strategies to keep families in their homes and limit damage to the local tax base. Read More
User-Friendly Access to Data on Mortgage Lending :
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently launched a new page on its website where the public can quickly access information on mortgage lending in their community. This data is provided via the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and is often called HMDA data.
Consumers Can Register Complaints with the CFPB :
Any consumer with a complaint involving a mortgage, a student loan, a credit card, a bank account, a car loan, a money transfer or a credit report, can register a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Debt collection issues and payday loans will be added soon.
Attorney general sues HSBC over foreclosures :
Thousands of New Yorkers have likely been denied a better chance to get their homes out from under foreclosure by HSBC Bank USA and its Depew mortgage operations facility, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is charging in a new lawsuit.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) :
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides information and assistance on a variety of consumer financial issues.
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