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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

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

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

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




IN THE NEWS

Schneiderman announces targeted advertising campaign to help Buffalo-area homeowners avoid foreclosure rescue scams
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a targeted advertising campaign and consumer education initiative to help Buffalo homeowners spot, avoid and report mortgage rescue scams. Read More

The mortgage drought
Despite the economic recovery, African Americans and Latinos continue to lack equal access to homeownership in Rochester and Monroe County, says a new report from the Empire Justice Center, "The River Runs Dry II: The Persistent Mortgage Drought in Rochester's Communities of Color." Read More




POLICY ADVOCACY

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




PUBLICATIONS

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

 

In the Eye of the Storm: Why the Threat of Foreclosure Damage Continues
Empire Justice Center's comprehensive analysis of five years of foreclosure data in Rochester, NY, with recommendations for changes in state and federal policy. Read More

 



NEWSLETTERS

Policy Matters: September 2012
In between juggling children’s summer camps and activities, taking vacations and attending family reunions, Empire Justice Center staff members did a lot of policy work this past summer. We are happy to share what we did in this issue of Policy Matters. Read More

Policy Matters: June 2012
What an incredible year. We are so happy and proud to be able to share with you the great things Empire Justice advocates helped achieve during the course of this legislative session. These accomplishments will help and protect low income New Yorkers, individuals impacted by domestic violence, families facing foreclosure, and those who need, but cannot afford, an attorney to figure out how the law affects their fundamental human needs. Read More




TRAINING 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




RESOURCES

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