Some lenders attempted to circumvent New York’s three-year foreclosure process by robo-signing foreclosure documents. Robo-signing involved lenders having employees sign foreclosures they never read and using fake signatures to attest to the validity of the foreclosure. The latest New York foreclosure law, which went into effect in August 2013, requires read foreclosure documents and put away the fake signatures. Now lenders must have attorneys swear that all foreclosure documents are real and accurate. As a foreclosure defense attorney in New York will tell you, the new foreclosure law can help or hurt you.
No More “Shadow Dockets”
A lender who intends to foreclose on your property must provide you a letter at least 90 days prior to filing a foreclosure complaint in court. In many cases, a lender sends you the letter. However, it doesn’t file the complaint. This leaves you in legal limbo worse than watching a 16-inning baseball game with every player striking out. It’s not that you want the foreclosure process completed so you lose your home. You want to start fighting to save it.
After the complaint is filed, your foreclosure attorney in New York has 30 days to file a response to the complaint. If the complaint isn’t filed, your case ends up on what’s known as a shadow docket of pending foreclosures. It’s not a real court docket. Instead, it refers to your case being in limbo for months or years. As a result:
- Interest on your loan increases every month
- Fees pile up
- Loan modification process can’t start
The new law ends this practice.
Sworn statements are a necessary part of the foreclosure process. Prior to the robo-signing scandal of 2010, any lender employee could claim the foreclosure was valid. Even if the lender had a lawyer swearing to the foreclosure, he could hold off filing the mandatory affirmations to prevent the case from moving forward in court. According to the new law, a lender’s attorney must provide a sworn statement of the accuracy of the foreclosure. This helps you from being wrongly foreclosed on or living in limbo of facing a foreclosure case because the lender:
- Must verify it has the right to foreclose
- Must proceed with the foreclose as soon as the case is opened
Although this new law helps you avoid the tricks some lenders pull, it can hurt you too. Remember, a foreclosure in New York can be a three-year process. Thus, if you act immediately to fight the foreclosure, you may be able to avoid a Request for Judicial Intervention.
Immediate Attention Required
New York is a judicial foreclosure state which means the lender has a change to lose the foreclosure action in court. To make this happen, you must have a valid foreclosure defense. The way to get out of foreclosure trouble is by hiring a foreclosure attorney in New York to handle your case. When looking for a foreclosure attorney in New York, make sure the firm:
- Is result-oriented
- Is honest (the attorney will take your case because he or she can achieve a positive outcome, not for the money)
- Has success stopping foreclosures
- Is focused on helping clients save their homes
- Has the ability, skill, knowledge and experience to determine the best way to resolve the foreclosure
- Doesn’t rely on lender information like mortgage audits
- Only look for lender violations such as TILA
Sometimes, your lender is willing to modify your loan to stop the foreclosure process and reduce costs. A loan modification involves modifying terms of a mortgage to be different than their original terms. Loan modifications may involve reducing payments, interest rates, principal, or putting the money you owe on the back of your mortgage.
You shouldn’t go through a loan modification negotiation without the help of a lawyer. You must look for foreclosure defense attorneys who are also loan modification lawyers in New York. Unfortunately, some foreclosure lawyers won’t negotiate loan modifications. To stop a foreclosure in New York, you want to use the new law to your advantage.