It is hard to believe that the 2008-2009 financial crisis is now eleven years behind us. But whether the crisis really truly abated for everyone is up for debate. According to a real estate analysis by PropertyShark, foreclosures more than doubled in New York City since 2014.
In 2019, there were just over 3,000 foreclosures in New York City, which is down from 2017 when there were 3,300. Manhattan especially saw a surge in first-time foreclosures, with 149 being filed in 2019. Staten Island had 562 foreclosures, which is 313 percent higher than in 2014.
Cuomo Signs Bill Providing Protection
In late 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that would provide homeowners protection when they face foreclosure. The bill was sponsored by Helene Weinstein and Brian Kavanagh and was designed to amend Article 13 in Real Property Actions & Proceedings to allow defendants more leeway in bringing up the defense of “standing” in their foreclosure procedure.
More homeowners will rightfully keep their homes, now that the governor has signed my bill (A.5619) into law.
Weinstein went on to explain that in the past, foreclosure defendants had only 30 days to challenge a plaintiff's standing to sue to foreclosure, and many times, the defendants were not sure exactly who owned their mortgage. In some cases, this led to banks bringing up lawsuits against homeowners when they had no right to do so. Weinstein said,
In reality, many homeowners do not even understand the suit papers served against them, and/or do not hire a lawyer until it is too late to raise lack of standing as a defense. The law was in need of a significant alteration to permit this defense to be raised at any time in the litigation.
A New York City Councilman, Robert Cornegy, had also urged Governor Cuomo to pass the legislation. He said,
The foreclosure crisis may seem over for Main Street, but its lingering effects are still felt in communities of color. Perverse schemes like deed theft, deed fraud, and mortgage scams are adding to the stress of holding on to a home in a changing city, and we must ensure property owners have the tools they need to hold on to their homes.
If you have received a foreclosure notice in the mail, you may not understand what the paperwork means or you may even just hope that if you ignore it, it will go away. In reality, the first and the best thing you should do is contact an experienced foreclosure defense attorney who will explain what you are facing and how they can help. Contact our offices today to learn more if you are worried you could possibly lose your home.