How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome to the world of the foreclosure defendant

The tide has turned. The homeowner is right. The home is paramount. We will protect the disadvantaged.

Law is like a seesaw and today is the homeowner's day. Just this week, New York became the first state to require lenders to vouch for the accuracy of their mortgage documents. In fact, the assurance must come in the form of an attorney certification by way of affirmation. The affirmation must state that counsel has taken reasonable steps to verify the accuracy of documents filed in support of residential foreclosures. Such residential foreclosures appear to include condos, 1-4 family homes, private homes, but no owner-occupied requirement appears, which is broader than the other requirements to date in this field.

According to a Press Release Issued by the Unified Court System:
Plaintiff's counsel in foreclosure matters must submit the affirmation at one of several stages. In new cases, the affirmation must accompany the Request for Judicial Intervention. In pending cases, the affirmation must be submitted with either the proposed order of reference or the proposed judgment of foreclosure. In cases where a foreclosure judgment has been entered but the property has not yet been sold at auction, the affirmation must be submitted to the court referee, and a copy filed with the court. five business days before the scheduled auction. Counsel is also obligated to file amended version of the affidavit if new facts emerge after the initial filing.

It seems no foreclosure auctions will be happening this week in the wake of the 5 day rule.

To see a copy of the required affirmation, click here. To view the law, click here. Fore more generalized info about residential foreclosures, click here.

Yet, this is not all, it gets better: A new law allows homeowners to recoup legal fees in foreclosure cases proclaims the New York Times in an article on October 21, 2010. To read the article, click here.
The law - Access to Justice in Lending Act - which can be found by clicking here, provides attorneys fees to defendants who are successful in a foreclosure action.

The stated purspose of the law is as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to allow borrowers in a foreclosure proceeding access to legal representation by providing that mortgage agreements which allow a prevailing lender to recover attorneys fees in a foreclosure proceeding shall be read to allow prevailing borrowers to recover attorneys fees as well, thereby enabling borrowers with meritorious defenses to foreclosure to obtain the legal representation necessary to assert those defenses.

So, mortgagors its time to get your ducks in a row. Lets clean out the cannons. Gather your troops. Its time for war.

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