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Consumer - Legislative Memos

Empire Justice Memo of Support: New York State Must Require that Student Loan Servicers be Licensed
Student loan servicing has generally gone unregulated in New York State, and confusion about student loans is common among borrowers, in part because there are no common rules. This bill would set a baseline level of procedures and protections to provide common sense notice and protections for borrowers. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Recording of Transfers and Assignments of Mortgages
This bill will provide transparency in mortgage transactions involving residential real property by requiring forms that include the name of the mortgage originator or assignee, their address, phone number, the date the mortgage or assignment was made, and the name of an authorized representative. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Opposition: Don't Allow Check Cashers to become Lenders
This bill would license and permit check cashers to become lenders outside of New York’s traditional and regulated banking system, and without ensuring the safety and soundness of those loans. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Improving Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Conferences
This bill provides clarifying amendments to CPLR 3408, bringing the statute in line with the rules and practice of the courts. 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: Protect Consumers from Fraudulent Auto Financing
A.7930-a/S.5506-a would amend section 302 of the personal property law, and will have a considerable positive effect on New York State consumers who are defrauded by auto dealers when obtaining automobile financing. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Provide Consumer Protections in the Rent-to-Own Industry
This legislation will have a real and substantial effect on low income consumers seeking to rent or purchase essential family appliances, furniture, and related items from RTO stores operating in New York State. 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

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Pass the Consumer Credit Fairness Act
Empire Justice Center strongly supports the Consumer Credit Fairness Act, A.9053(Weinstein)/S.7349(Savino), and urges its swift passage to ensure that debt collection actions are fair to consumers throughout New York State. Read More

NYRL Memo of Support: Require that Vacant and Abandoned Properties be Maintained
NYRL strongly supports A.9341/S.7350, which requires mortgagees and their loan servicing agents to maintain vacant and abandoned properties from the point in time that it is discovered that the property is vacant and abandoned. Read More

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

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Public Assistance Mortgages Annual Accounting Will Provide Transparency
UPDATE: Assembly introduces a companion bill for S.5498. Currently, local social services districts do not provide the homeowner with an accounting of the amount of public assistance paid nor the amount of the accrued debt or credits made against the home. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Ensure Fairness in New York’s Foreclosure Process
This bill requires certification to be filed up front with the summons and complaint. The certificate must verify that the lawyer has reviewed the facts of the case and verified with the plaintiff that there is a “reasonable basis” for filing the lawsuit. Read More

Memorandum of Support: Amend Social Services Law § 106 to 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. This bill would exempt persons who own and reside in one, two or three family homes from this archaic provision. If the goal of New York’s public assistance policy is to restore individuals to self-sufficiency, then it is time to pass this bill! Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Opposition: New Yorkers Would Be Harmed If Check Cashers Became Lenders
This bill would exempt New York check cashers from the state’s usury protections and permit them to make high-cost, unsafe, small-dollar loans. We believe the bill would create an unlevel playing field by allowing check cashers to make loans that are currently prohibited from being made by mainstream, regulated banks and credit unions. Read More

New Yorkers for Responsible Lending Memo of Support for the Consumer Credit Fairness Act
NYRL, a statewide coalition of consumer advocates which Empire Justice is a member of, calls for the Consumer Credit Fairness Act to be enacted. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Pass the Consumer Credit Fairness Act
Our memo of support urging the legislature to enact the Consumer Credit Fairness Act. Read More

UPDATED: Don’t Legalize Debt Settlement Scams in New York State
This memo of opposition has been updated to reflect amendments to the bill. The bill now focuses on for profit budget planning. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of support: The Misuse of Credit History Information Must be Restricted
Employers are increasingly checking prospective, as well as current employees’ credit histories. The practice blocks qualified applicants from desperately needed jobs and advancement. It also impacts people whose credit reports contain erroneous information, sadly, not an uncommon occurrence. Read More

Memorandum in Opposition: New Yorkers Do Not Need Check Cashers as Lenders in New York
Empire Justice Center strongly opposes A.7047/S.3841, referred to as the “short-term financial services loan act.” We believe the bill would create an unlevel playing field by allowing check cashers to make loans that are currently prohibited from being made by mainstream, regulated banks and credit unions. Read More

Legislative Memo: Help Protect Homeowners and Shorten the Foreclosure Process- Clarify Standing to Sue in Foreclosure Actions
This bill provides that only the owner and holder of a mortgage and note, or its agent, shall have standing to commence a mortgage foreclosure action. Read More

NYRL Announces Campaign to End Unfair and Discriminatory Employer Credit Checks
A growing number of employers are checking the credit histories of job applicants and employees, and using the information to deny people jobs and other opportunities. This practice blocks qualified applicants. Read More

NYRL Announces Campaign to Prevent Unfair Foreclosures
When filing a foreclosure case, servicers should be required to establish up front that they have the legal right to foreclose. Read More

NYRL Announces Campaign to Ensure Fair Debt Collection Practices
NYRL urges the passage of the NYS Consumer Credit Fairness Act to stop abuses of debt buyers. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Create Reasonable Licensing and Bonding Requirements for Debt Collectors
Licensing is a critical component in creating reasonable control mechanisms over the debt collection industry at a time when consumers are facing dire economic circumstances. Read More

Empire Justice Memo on Federal Policy Recommendations to Help New York Homeowners
Subprime mortgage lending triggered the foreclosure crisis. Subsequent declines in the economy and in home values are increasing the risk of mortgage default and foreclosure. Following is a summary of the present outlook and most current proposed solutions taken from industry analysts, regulators, scholars and the media. Read More