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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

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. Read More

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

 


 

IN THE NEWS

Many New Yorkers living in foreclosure limbo
Tens of thousands of neighbors in the five boros and Long Island are living year-to-year as a shadow class of struggling homeowners mired in mortgages with no completed foreclosure, no expectation of making payments on the loan and no other alternative to get out from under the bad debt. Read More


A.G. Schneiderman Announces National Multi-Billion Dollar Settlement With Mortgage Servicing Giant OCWEN Financial Services
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with mortgage servicing giant Ocwen Financial Services over alleged improprieties by the company and its subsidiaries related to mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices. Read More


Homeowners fight to end mortgage liens for those receiving public assistance
As some New Yorkers face tough financial times and seek public assistance, social service districts have sought to recover funds paid to homeowners by taking a mortgage lien against their property. Read More


POLICY ADVOCACY

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Protect the Homes of Welfare Recipients
New York is one of only two states in the nation that takes deeds and mortgages against the homes of welfare recipients to recover the public assistance paid to these homeowners. 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



 


 

PUBLICATIONS

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

 


 

RESOURCES

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

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. 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