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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.




2014: Access to credit remains tight for people and communities of color
While we are 5 years into the recovery, a Center for Responsible Lending analysis of the just-released 2014 data shows that we are still not making enough progress. Read More

New Law Makes the Rules regarding Welfare Mortgages Clear and Provides Transparency and Accountability
The 2014-15 New York State budget contains Article VII legislation that amends SSL 106 to clearly state that HEAP, child care and SNAP cannot be charged against welfare mortgages. Read More




Long Island Communities Trying to Recover From the Foreclosure Crisis Lack Access to Mortgage Lending
Empire Justice Center Report finds that this key aspect of an economic recovery is not reaching low income families and communities of color Read More

Report: Bank policies worsen foreclosure crisis in areas
A new report claims certain communities may be suffering more from the foreclosure crisis because of bank policies. Read More

Counseling, new rules could widen home ownership, study says
Long Island's poorest residents are missing out on the American dream of home ownership due to difficulties getting mortgages, according to a new analysis of federal home loan data. Read More


Empire Justice Memo of Opposition: Vacant and Abandoned Bill is Harmful to Tenants and Consumer Protections
Empire Justice Center strongly OPPOSES S.4498. While we support the concept of moving foreclosures on truly vacant and abandoned buildings along more quickly, this bill will not significantly hasten the timeline (if it hastens it at all), and only quickens the process at great cost to tenants and owners. It also will cause loss of material consumer protections. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Provide Clarity Regarding Standing to Sue in Foreclosure Actions
This bill provides a homeowner defendant the right to challenge standing at any time they learn that the plaintiff may not be the rightful party during a foreclosure proceeding. 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

The River Runs Dry II: The Persistent Mortgage Drought in Rochester’s Communities of Color
"The River Runs Dry II: The Persistent Mortgage Drought in Rochester’s Communities of Color” analyzes home purchase lending in the Rochester metro area and the City of Rochester. Read More




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


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