New York unveils bill of rights for borrowers facing foreclosure

State takes final steps to implement new foreclosure laws





December 7, 2016

The state of New York is taking the next step in its fight against abandoned foreclosures and neighborhood blight by unveiling a consumer bill of rights for borrowers facing foreclosure.

The consumer bill of rights is part of series of “sweeping” new laws announced by the state earlier this year designed to reform the state’s foreclosure process and address the state’s issues with abandoned foreclosures, also called zombie homes. New York has one of the longest foreclosure timelines in the nation, averaging 1,070 days to foreclose in the third quarter.

According to the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the new laws combat the blight of vacant and abandoned properties by expediting the rehabilitation, repair and improvement of these properties, and enable the state to assist homeowners facing foreclosure.

Additionally, the new laws also impose a pre-foreclosure duty on banks and servicers to maintain zombie homes, create an electronic registry of abandoned properties, and expedite foreclosure for vacant and abandoned properties to get those houses back on the market.

Included among the tenets of New York’s new laws is the establishment of a bill of rights for consumers facing foreclosure, which Cuomo and the New York Department of Financial Services introduced Wednesday.

The consumer bill of rights, which can be read in full here, reminds consumers of the various rights they have before, during, and after the foreclosure process.

First and foremost, the bill of rights tells consumers that they can and should seek the assistance of a lawyer or a housing counselor if they are facing a foreclosure in New York.

The bill of rights also tells borrowers that they have the right to stay in their home during the foreclosure process.

“You have the right to stay in your home and the duty to maintain your property unless and until a court orders you to vacate,” the bill of right states.

“If you abandon your home, the plaintiff (bank or mortgage servicer) may be able to foreclose on your property through an expedited process in court,” the bill of rights continues. “To prevent this outcome, stay in your home and carefully review and respond to documents you receive from the plaintiff or the court in your foreclosure case. A failure to respond or appear in court when required to do so could make it easier for the plaintiff to show that your property is vacant and abandoned, which could put you at risk of an expedited foreclosure.”

The bill of rights also walks borrowers through the various steps of the foreclosure process and their rights throughout, including their legal options and their right to seek “loss mitigation” options.

Again, click here for the full consumer bill of rights.

“These reforms help ensure New Yorkers at risk of foreclosure know their rights, that banks and mortgage servicers are held to their obligations, and that neighborhoods across the state are protected from the blight of zombie properties, which threaten property values, as well as public safety,” Cuomo said. “These steps will help protect the quality of life in our communities and preserve the American Dream in New York.”

Additionally, the New York Department of Financial Services finalized the new regulations it proposed earlier this year as part of the state’s new foreclosure laws.

Under the state’s new laws, lenders and mortgage servicers must complete an inspection of a property subject to delinquency within 90 days and must secure and maintain the property where the bank or servicer has a reasonable basis to believe that the property is vacant and abandoned, in addition to other requirements.

“DFS is proud to put this vital legislation, signed by Gov. Cuomo, into action with this final regulation and new Consumer Bill of Rights,” NYDFS Superintendent Maria Vullo said. “Homeowners will now be armed with the information they need to better navigate the foreclosure process and entire communities will be provided assistance and protection with this final regulation in place.”

18 Responses

  1. TO ALL. Freddie or Fannie owns the loan? Doubtful. Very doubtful. Let’s play WORD play. Holds the note? Owns the mortgage? Owns the loan? Owns the security pass-through? Owns the property?? Etc. — OR — Owns the right to the reported DEFAULT DEBT????? Each one of these is VERY different.

    DERIVATIVES. Time we stopped ignoring.

    AnonymousNJ — please provide contact info. Commerce Bank interests me. Anyone else can provide too. It is the claimed Freddie/Fannie connection that is my interest.

    Ronda — no one should buy a loan from a servicer unless the servicer was reporting it in default. Loans are static in trusts, and not sold unless reported in default. And, almost all loans, except for very high dollar amount loans, were securitized – somewhere. . No one should try to modify a loan for forty years with 7 years left. Highly doubtful Freddie/Fannie do this.

    Time to work and JOIN together.

  2. I have been fighting Wells Fargo foreclosure attempts since 2007 …

    My original refinance was thru Commerce Bank in 2004 …

    They immediately endorsed the note to Washington Mutual prior to the closing …

    Although the mortgage documents all identify Commerce as Lender..

    We paid Washington Mutual from 2004 – 2007 …

    At some point Wells Fargo took over as servicer in 2007 …

    We asked questions about ownership and WF told us that Fannie Mae owns our loan …

    We mailed a TILA Rescission letter to WF in 2007 after they jerked us around while we were asking for a medical hardship mod. Help …

    The Rescission was within the 3 year timeline allowed by TILA..

    They ignored it and filed foreclosure in Sept. 2007 .. 3 months after we had mailed them the Rescission letter …

    The Court rejected the Rescission ..that happened before Jesinoski

    We proceeded based on lack of standing and fraud …

    Wells Fargo eventually asked the case be dismissed in 2011 after the Judge demanded witnesses be provided by the bank to testify about the suspicious documents and chain of title gap from Washington Mutual to Wells Fargo … They dismissed the complaint, vacated the final judgment, vacated the sheriffs sale in order to not testify under oath.

    2014 they filed a new foreclosure complaint …

    In our answer and counterclaim we stated that we had rescinded under TILA..making the instruments void …court lacked jurisdiction..etc.

    During this second round Jesinoski surfaced …

    The Court rejected Jesinoski saying it only stated that a borrower did not have to file suit to rescind ..but it rejected my rescission saying that we had not tendered the money back to WF at the time we went the letter … The Court ultimately rejected our rescission and granted the WF plaintiff Summary Judgement and then Final Judgment based on the fact that they are holders of the note and mortgage. The Court relied on presumptions that it was all a valid loan with valid transactions, transfers, etc ..despite my answer denying that a valid loan existed and affirmative defenses raising robosigned fabricated forged fraudulent docs …

    The case is now being appealed

  3. ANON. My mortgage was a refi with Wells Fargo from 2003 a 15 -year 5.125%. Tried to refi in march 2009 when I faced a hardship. Wells bought my mortgage from my original servicer around 1999. Wells wanted to keep my interest at 5.125 for 40 years when I had only 9 years left and rates fell 4.65 themto 2.75. They could have modified me at 3.5 interest on a HAMP and made it affordable. They were pressing for foreclosure and after my equity. Are you aware that Freddie Mac reported 60 percent of foreclosures has less than 7 years remaining. I suspect
    They only modified underwater mortgages if it benefited the bank

  4. Ronda — will try again.

  5. Ronda, Was it a refinance or purchase loan? Tried your email — didn’t work.

  6. In my foreclosure victory Wells Fargo was the servicer for a Freddie Mac loan Wells Fargo was also the entity denying a modification. It’s interesting that I have documents addressed from the bank to Freddie Mac which read. FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY DO NOT PROVIDE TO CUSTOMER. These really show deception and I’m sure it’s going to continue. I don’t quite understand title issues. Perhaps my ignorance has helped focus on the HAMP violations and show that the bank failed at loss mitigation and wrongfully pursued foreclosure. It’s pretty awful to steal a person’s home when they are sincere in wanting to make affordable payments. It’s a good appeal to make to a judge. If I can’t understand title issues I can’t argue it in court. But thanks for your support

  7. Ronda, Doubt AnonymousNJ is the bank. He/She is correct the largest obstacle homeowners face is standing. Most of the loans are said to be in dismantled trusts that barely exist today. Courts have said no standing to challenge these assignments — which is a violation of TILA, RESPA, and FDCPA. Holding the note is meaningless as that holder is not like the current owner of the debt. But, most courts do not care. So, you have gotten much further than others. I think that may be due not only to your well planned strategy but also to the equity in your home. My question for you is — who would the loan modification be with? Loan mod is a modification of the original contract and that party may or may not exist. If they don’t exist, who is the modification with? If you do wind up getting, make sure it is recorded in your County Registrar or title may be permanently destroyed. Especially with equity, you do not want to battle title later on. .

  8. You can email your questions about my foreclosure victory and I’ll try to provide more information. I have trouble thing from my phone when I’m not at home on my laptop so please excuse the typos. I’ll work on a. Article about my experience since 2009 to present and all the failures I made to get a tiny victory in a sea of 7 million foreclosure victims

  9. I’m pretty suspicious that the bank might be posing as anonymous to try and find out my tactics
    So they can build a game plan to attack me. They do this every time a new “executive resolution specialist” talks to me on the phone. They change their reasons why they didn’t modify. I find it humorous now. I have offered all along I want to pay exactly what I owe with modified interest. I expect
    The bank to remove all fees and high interest that was added to mortgage. They politely tell me. We have denied that offer. OKAY. We are
    Dealing with thugs in top hats and cloaks.

  10. Anonymous. I go to court scared and armed with the truth I told the judge I wanted to make my payment but the bank would not modify it and they chose to press for foreclosure to steal the equity out of my house. I gathered up ever piece of oaper I saved to prove my points. I researched on line To make arguements that other judges have made in wrongful foreclosure “to rule in favor of the bank is to make a benefit to the borrower illusory”
    I have virtually no case law knowledge
    Which works in my favor. I presented the three basic rules of HAMP and presented documents and letters from the bank showing how each rule was violated. I showed a letter stating the bank was unable to make a payment I could afford. I presented a mortgage calculation showing his was a lie. They could lower the interest and make it within 31 percent of my income. I presented the income form the bank gave me. I presented three different modification documents the bank gave me. 2010 mod payment too high. 2011 mod interest never lowered payment too high and violated truth I. Lending by not stating the true amount of payment or all the fees they added to the amount of the loan without my knowledge. I showed how the bank produced a $30k benefit to the bank and a $40k loss to me by using a deceptive strategy to steal my equity and violate HAMP I asked the court to take juju airy notice of the 10th circuit court ruling on deceptive fraud in modifications. The Colorado judge found sufficient claims that borrowers were denied a modification and then given inhouse mods that benefited te bank with higher interest and fees. The judge said he did not use that to make his decision but he Rea it. He knows. He said there are sufficient claims that I qualified for a modification and wells faro is claiming I didn’t qualify. “I’m denying summary judgement for foreclosure”. What this means is the bank would have to file another case to foreclose and would have to prove I didn’t qualify. I’m always worried they can keep pulling lies out of a hat and it is mentally exhausting. But perseverance is key. Their lies don’t add up when a judge is looking for the truth. And I believe judges are begining to see too many cases against the banks. Email me if there’s something I can help explain. I am not a lawyer just a fighter. I have my best interest and no money so I never higher the firms that call me and want $1200 down and $495 a month so they can screw me over with a bank settlement that benefits the bank and violated government guidelines. HAMP ends Ded 31 2016 so the banks are figuring we are dead meat

  11. Ronda Scott , please share some of your legal arguments and tactics with the rest of us. If we all share our experiences and knowledge we can help the cause.

  12. Too funny. Too truthful. My new tactic is don’t pay and don’t cave and fix bayonettes . Since 2009 I’ve been trying to get wells Fargo’s to modify. One judge and one foreclosure denied. It’s a big game and you just need to learn to play ball in the slime bog

  13. It all needs to begin with the fact of whether the Plaintiff has proved legal standing to even bring the complaint of foreclosure … Lets just start right there. We don’t need a Bill of Rights …what we need is an immediate investigation into why the Courts are not enforcing the rule of law ..why are Judges allowing Plaintiffs to proceed on assumptions and faulty, fabricated, forged, fraudulent documents ? Nothing else matters until we address the corrupt Judges who enable the banks to steal property which they have no legal claim to, no ownership of the debt, no legal standing, suffered no injury, …lets address the initial closing of the refinance where the pretender lender never funded the loan ..predatory lending per se under TILA Reg. Z …lets start with the Judges disregarding the rule of law first …if they don’t address this problem then nothing else matters …the courts are corrupt.

  14. Fight this New Yorkers. It is difficult to find and afford an attorney. They know this and know they can easily con the people in court even if you can find and afford an attorney. Neidermeyer is correct. The process should include docs related to actual ownership of the note/debt. But, that will never be disclosed. Never. Bill of rights should include immediate disclosure with contact number — and, servicers don’t qualify. They do not own the note/debt. Or, do they? And, they just never tell the homeowner, the government, or the courts. Question then becomes – how did the servicer come to own the debt? New York is not helping homeowners by this Bill of (non) Rights. .

  15. “First and foremost, the bill of rights tells consumers that they can and should seek the assistance of a lawyer or a housing counselor if they are facing a foreclosure in New York.”

    This is satire, right? This can’t be an actual bill, can it! This must be from the latest Onion issue. Maybe Mad magazine.

    How could anyone suggest seeking a lawyer to help in a foreclosure, no matter the state? You want to talk draining the swamp? There’s nothing left in that foreclosure law bog save for banker-friendly stooges who should have stayed in hotel-motel management, rather than trying for the bar. But each and every one of them will be happy to take your last few grand to hand you over to the bankers as soon as you’re account is drained. Welcome to your new home, the curb! But don’t worry; you can shower at the Y a few blocks away.

    This suggestion to seek legal counsel is the cornerstone of the asininely named “bill of rights”? OMG! The governor of New York, you know…..he’s the one that lives in the mansion complete with pool, greenhouse, gymnasium, and a freaking private zoo for crying out loud! How could a governor, whom I presume was elected to represent all of the people, not just the ones who pay for his re-election, state with a straight face to the hundreds of thousands of New York’s dispossessed that they have the “right” to seek legal counsel and further to call that sweeping? That’s not sweeping, unless under the rug is the destination. It’s more like a poke in the eye and a kick to the groin! Un-freakin’-believable!

    It’s probably not Cuomo’s fault. The governor’s mansion was originally built as a private residence for a squillionaire banker, and it’s highly likely that, just like from Ghostbusters, the old legacy slime still residing in that space has infected his highness, Sir Andrew. Maybe if by chance we take a stroll by the mansion on our way from the soup kitchen, they’ll be kind enough to toss out some scraps leftover from the financial services banquet held the night before. Nah. In the eyes of the elite, that would just serve to soften us up. Shoulder to it now folks, those burgers won’t flip themselves!

  16. Rights to “loss mitigation” to prevent foreclosure is the big elephant in the room. It’s the reason why home owners are continuing to lose their homes because banks are not followin the rules to modify mortgage
    Payments…..they are committing fraud to inflate the loans with excessive interest and fees and lying about the borrowers qualifications. Judges don’t believe banks would lie when we entrust them with all of our money and our stock portfolios.

  17. The key to this being valuable is getting a judge that enforces the requirements of the “mandatory settlement process” including the “obligation to bring all necessary documents to the conference” ,, That should include docs related to actual ownership of the note/debt…

    Good Luck on that..

  18. Reblogged this on Deadly Clear and commented:
    Obama may have done nothing for homeowners in the last 8 years except provide a HAMP scam – but at least the great state of New York is setting a precedent.

Contribute to the discussion!

%d bloggers like this: