Pre-Foreclosure Notice

Pre-Foreclosure NoticeNew York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law Section 1304 requires lenders and servicing companies who want to bring a legal action regarding a mortgage on a residential home in the State of New York must provide 90 days written notice to the borrower regarding the home loan foreclosure before starting legal action. The notice needs to be mailed to the homeowner by regular mayor and certified mail.

90 Day Notice To Homeowners Required

Homeowners challenge the compliance with a statute on a regular basis. It is a complete defense to the foreclosure lawsuit that the homeowner was not properly served the requisite notice under Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law Section 1304.The mailing of this notice is considered a condition precedent to the initiation of the foreclosure lawsuit. The financial institution or servicing company must be in a position to provide an affidavit of service of the mailing of the pre-foreclosure notice.

There have been numerous decisions by the Supreme Court Judges and the Appellate Courts dismissing cases for the slightest mistake or deviation that the financial institution, its services and its attorneys have made with regard to failing to fulfill the strict compliance with the terms of this 90 day pre-foreclosure mailing.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel and his law office has been protecting homeowners in foreclosure cases for more than 3 decades. He can be reached at elliot@sdnylaw.com and 800-344-6431.

Information in the Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act

Information in the Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act The covid-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act created a standardized hardship declaration form which tenants can submit to their landlord to prevent and halt an eviction if they have a financial hardship related to or during covid-19 that prevents them from being able to pay their rent. In addition they can qualify if someone in their household is at an increased risk of illness due to covid-19.

The form gives tenants the ability to declare a financial hardship if they have lost income. In addition if they have increased healthcare, childcare or other family expenses, they can also declare a hardship. In the event they have been unable to obtain meaningful employment because of circumstances related to covid-19 they also can qualify. Funds also be allocated to help them with moving expenses.

A tenant who obtains a copy of the standardized hardship declaration form should return it to their landlord or to the court to prevent a landlord from filing an eviction. This can be used to suspend an eviction proceeding already underway until May of 2022.

Protection Against Foreclosure and Tax Lien Sales
for Residential Property Owners

The statute also gives homeowners protections against a foreclosure sale of their home and tax lien sale of their home. This applies to residential property that involves 10 or fewer apartment units. The residential property must include the individuals primary place of residence.

Property owners will be able to obtain protection from foreclosure and tax lien sales of their homes by filing a standardized hardship declaration form with their mortgage lender or with the court. The property owners must declare in this form under penalties of perjury that they have a financial hardship. In addition, they must allege this financial hardship prevents them from paying their mortgage or property taxes related to lost income. This includes reduction in rent collections, increased expenses or their inability to obtain meaningful employment. Landlords with 10 or more rental units are excluded from these protections.

Negative Reporting and Discrimination Extending Credit

The law protects a property owner from credit discrimination too if they are behind on their mortgage payments or they have received a stay of mortgage foreclosure sale, tax foreclosure or tax lien sale on their property.

The hardship declaration can also be used to avoid credit discrimination based on mortgage arrears on the property in which they reside. This statute gives new protection to single family residences, co-ops, owner occupied multifamily primary residences and primary residences. This legislation will also forbids negative reporting to any credit agency related to a mortgage foreclosure proceeding or tax foreclosure proceedings.

schlissel-headshotElliot Schlissel, his partner and his associates help homeowners facing foreclosure, bankruptcy or facing financial difficulties . They can be reached at 800-344-6431 or by email at info@sdnylaw.com

Federal Funds Available to Help Homeowners in Foreclosure

Federal Funds Available to Help Homeowners in ForeclosureHomeowners facing foreclosure who are either behind on their mortgages, their property taxes or other housing related expenses can receive up to $50,000 in financial assistance through New York State’s recently approved Homeowners Assistance Fund. The State of New York has received $539 million dollars in financial assistance for homeowners pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act. On December 2, 2021 the United States Treasury approved the implementation of a plan in the State of New York with regard to the distribution of $539 million dollars to homeowners facing financial difficulties and foreclosure.

Under the American Rescue Plan Act, households must have experienced a financial hardship caused by the covid-19 pandemic and earn at or below 150% of the median income in their area. Governor Hochul is in the process of unveiling an outreach campaign targeted to homeowner’s at risk of foreclosure. Although applications are currently not available they will be available in the near future.

539 Million Is Not Enough

Kristen Keef, the senior attorney for the Empire Justice Center has recently stated “I think everyone generally thinks $539 million will not be enough in cash assistance for homeowners”. Kristen Keef has indicated there are between 400 thousand and 500 thousand New York homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments. From September 29th through October 11, 2021 the delinquency rate among homeowners in New York State was over 13%. The delinquency rate is higher among black and Latino homeowners. It is estimated that up to 35% of black homeowners were late on their mortgage payments. This is a rate 5 times higher than the rate for white homeowner’s that have a delinquency rate of approximately 7%. The delinquency rate for Latino homeowners has been approximately 16%.

The last prior peak delinquency rate in New York State was in 2012 when 8.3 percent of mortgage payments were more than 30 days behind. Ms. Keef went on to state “obviously they were using different data back then and different methodology, potentially than today, but I think suffice it to say that the delinquency rate is much higher today than when we thought it was really awful in 2009, following the subprime mortgage lending crisis and great recession. Ms. Keef has indicated the $539 million dollars that is available will fall far short of being able to help all of the people in need of assistance.

schlissel-headshotThe law office of Schlissel Decorpo, LLP is available to help homeowners facing foreclosure, in foreclosure and facing other financial problems that have put their homes at risk of being lost. We can be reached at 800-344-6431 or by email at info@sdnylaw.com

$539 Million Dollars Available to Help Homeowners in Foreclosure

Homeowners in ForeclosureOn Thursday, December 4, 2021, New York State became the first state in the United States to receive United States Treasury approval for $539 million in a Homeowner Assistance Fund to aid individuals whose homes are in foreclosure. Governor Kathy Hochul is working on plans to unveil a statewide outreach program for at risk homeowners.

The Homeowners Assistance Fund will allow homeowners in New York State to receive financial aid regarding foreclosures on mobile homes, single family homes and elderly homeowners who have taken out reverse mortgages will also qualify for assistance. The Homeowners Assistance money was part of the $1.9 trillion dollar law enacted by Congress and the Biden administration to keep Americans “experiencing hardships associated with the pandemic” in their homes. The money is being allocated to both states, Native American tribes and United States territories.

The Homeowners Assistance Fund is separate from the $47 billion dollars that the United States government is giving to states to provide funds for rental assistance to tenants facing eviction. These funds are also included in the American Rescue Plan. An internet portal will eventually be set up. Homeowners will be able to file applications for assistance through the portal. This is a unique opportunity for homeowners either in foreclosure or facing foreclosure to use federal funds to deal with these issues.

schlissel-headshotThe law office of Schlissel Decorpo, LLP is available to help homeowners facing foreclosure and facing other financial problems that have put their homes at risk of being lost. We can be reached at 800-344-6431 or by email at info@sdnylaw.com.

Mortgages in 2018

MortgageDuring the past 12 months the prime interest rate has increased from 3.75% to 5.15%.  This has created a significant decrease in the buying power of new homeowners.  As mortgage rates go up, the cost of borrowing increases.  This tends to have a negative impact on the real estate market regarding the sale of residential real estate.

Cap on Real Estate Tax Deductions

The new Federal Tax Law now in effect in 2019 provides a $10,000.00 cap on the deduction homeowners can take on real estate taxes.  This is having a significant negative impact on the real estate market in New York.  This is especially true for homes at the higher end of the real estate market that have real estate taxes greater than $10,000.00.  Nassau County on Long Island has seen a significant slowdown in the sale of homes with significant real estate taxes.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

The rising interest rates are causing more homeowners to take adjustable rate mortgages instead of fixed rate mortgages.  Adjustable rate mortgages often start very low but go up over time.  This may increase the number of foreclosures among those homeowners in the future.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a foreclosure lawyer.  He helps his clients fight foreclosure lawsuits and obtain mortgage modifications. He has been assisting homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area regarding foreclosures for more than 35 years.  He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

The Mandatory Foreclosure Settlement Conference

Foreclosure settlement conferenceIn the State of New York there is a requirement that all foreclosures involving residential property are subject to mandatory foreclosure settlement conferences.  After the financial institution has served a 90 day notice on the homeowner, and a summons and complaint on the homeowner within 60 days thereafter the financial institution must file a Request for Judicial Intervention.  The Request of Judicial Intervention, commonly referred to as an “RJI”, causes the court to schedule a mandatory foreclosure settlement conference.  These conferences take place in every county in the State of New York.   The mandatory foreclosure settlement conference will take place in the county in which the home is located.

The Purpose of the Settlement Conference

The foreclosure settlement conferences allow homeowners and their attorneys to meet with the financial institution’s lawyers for the purpose of working out possibly resolutions of the case other than the home being sold.  The resolution most homeowners seek is to obtain a mortgage modification that is affordable.  When the homeowner or their attorney appears at the mandatory foreclosure settlement conference there are discussions with regard to the submission of documents necessary for the financial institution to underwrite a mortgage modification.  For the homeowner to be successful with regard to the mandatory foreclosure settlement conferences they must diligently comply with the document requests made by the financial institution’s lawyer.

These conferences can put pressure on the financial institution by the court to work out a resolution of the foreclosure case with the homeowner where the homeowner’s home is not sold at auction on the courthouse steps.

Supervision of the Settlement Coference

The mandatory foreclosure settlement conferences are supervised either by a court appointed referee or a judge.  At the time of the first court conference if the homeowner seeks to submit for a mortgage modification, the conference will usually be adjourned for 2 to 3 months to give the homeowner reasonable time to submit the appropriate documents and to give the financial institution time to underwrite the documents that are submitted for the purpose of determining whether the homeowner qualifies for a mortgage modification.  The attendance by the attorneys for the homeowner at these foreclosure conferences will continue to put pressure on the financial institution to provide the homeowner with a reasonable mortgage modification.

Missing the Conference

It is never a good idea for a homeowner or their attorney to miss foreclosure settlement conferences.  The foreclosure settlement conference stops the foreclosure lawsuit from going forward and gives the homeowner an opportunity to seek an alternative to losing their home in a foreclosure sale.  Although a homeowner can apply for a mortgage modification at any time during the litigation, the mandatory foreclosure settlement conferences are designed to allow the court to supervise the mortgage modification procedures.  It is always in the homeowner’s interest to have the courts maintaining pressure on the financial institution to provide the homeowner with a mortgage modification.

Mandatory foreclosure conferences slow down the foreclosure lawsuit.  There is a concept called “dual tracking”.  This means while the homeowner is applying for a mortgage modification the financial institution cannot at the same time proceed with the litigation process to take back the homeowner’s home.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq., his partner Nathan DeCorpo, Esq. and his associates have a history of excellent results in helping homeowners obtain mortgage modifications.  The firm can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Penalizing Banks for Foreclosure Irregularities

Wells Fargo and Company, the fourth largest bank by assets in the United States, Bank of America, the largest lender in the United States and Citigroup the third largest

8lender in the United States expect to be sanctioned by the United States government for bad foreclosure practices.

These banks are accused by federal regulators of abusing borrowers and illegally foreclosing on homes. A federal probe has been underway for many months. Federal investigators have found widespread deficiencies in the manner in which home loans are serviced, payments are collected, how loan modifications are processed and the foreclosure process itself on loans.

Banks to Be Penalized

Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citibank have all been accused of improper and illegal foreclosure practices. There have been reports that federal regulators may demand as much as thirty billion dollars from some 14 mortgage companies regarding improper foreclosure and mortgage practices.

Bank of America is responsible for the most mortgage loans in the United States. It handles 2.1 trillion dollars in home mortgages. Bank of America besides being investigated by federal regulators has been subject to a variety of private lawsuits concerning their mortgage foreclosure practices. Bank of America had temporarily suspended all foreclosure proceedings in 2010 to conduct a review and investigation of its foreclosure and mortgage practices. Bank of America has recently re-instituted foreclosure proceedings. They claim they have dealt with all of their internal problems concerning the processing of mortgages and handling of foreclosure.

Long Island Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

If your home is in foreclosure or you need a mortgage modification we can help you. The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been assisting consumers and homeowners with problems concerning debts to financial institutions for more than two (2) decades. We prepare mortgage modification documents. We can help deal with mortgage modification programs that fail to meet the consumers needs. If you are in foreclosure, we will attend foreclosure court conferences on your behalf.

We litigate defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues, defective mortgages, bad faith on behalf of financial institutions, and other related real estate proceedings.

In situations where we feel a filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is appropriate we file these proceedings with the United States Bankruptcy Court on behalf of our clients. We also assist our clients in reestablishing credit after filing for bankruptcy. We can help stop foreclosure in its tracks. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Long Island’s Economy Is Not Recovering

Real Estate Problems Create Continued Economic Problems on Long Island

More and more homeowners on Long Island are falling behind on their mortgages. Rising unemployment has forced more Long Island residents onto the welfare rolls. Long Island continues to lose jobs to other areas of the country.

The Recession on Long Island Continues

Although Nassau County is among the weathiest counties in the United States, its future does not look promising. At one time, Nassau County was a hub of National Defense related industries. Among these many industries was Grumman Corporation, which was the largest employer in Nassau County. With fewer and fewer jobs available, Nassau County now finds itself in financial difficulty.

With the loss of jobs, the devaluation of real estate, and newer companies hesitant to move to Long Island due to high taxes and expensive property values, the future for Nassau County looks bleak. Even beyond that, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has had the county’s finances taken over by the State appointed organization known as “NIFA” (Nassau Interim Finance Agency). What is a county such as Nassau County – considered a mature and economic county – to do about rising its prospects for the future? Innovative programs must be developed to bring new industries into the county, and tax breaks may be necessary to entice these industries.

When homes fall behind in their mortgages and are taken over by banks, they shouldn’t be sold. The continued selling of foreclosed homes results in creating an over supply of homes for sale on the real estate market, driving home prices down, and further creating losses for everyone. Instead, these homes should be rented to their former homeowners, who should be given the possibility of purchasing these homes down the road. The cost of maintaining the infrastructure of Nassau County needs to be reduced. Nassau County Police Officers are among the highest paid in the United States. A combination of their wages, pensions and fringe benefits are beyond what the county can afford to pay. Only aggressive action by the politicians and the business community can save Nassau County.

Long Island Foreclosure Defense Lawyers New York City Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

For those who are behind on their mortgage, a mortgage modification may be the best way to keep their home. Unfortunately, however, banks are approving fewer and fewer mortgage modifications. Should your home go into foreclosure, you need the best foreclosure defense lawyers to help you and your family stay in your home. The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been providing legal assistance to homeowners and keeping them in their homes for more than 20 years. Our law firm represents clients concerning mortgage modifications, and deals with the problems involving mortgage modifications that fail to meet our clients needs. When our clients are sued in foreclosure, we submit the appropriate documents to the court in order to defend them. We attend court conferences regarding the foreclosure, and we try to persuade both the court and the bank attorneys to put pressure on the bank to approve mortgage modifications. We submit formal Answers to foreclosure lawsuits. When appropriate, we include in our answers legal defenses such as defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending, defective mortgages and numerous other types of real estate related legal defenses.

Our law firm has extensive experience in dealing with the Federal laws and foreclosure. In some situations filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best route to deal with foreclosure and other financial issues. Filing a bankruptcy will stop foreclosures from moving forward, stop debt collection, and in some situations, eliminate second mortgages. At the end of the bankruptcy filing, we also advise our clients with regard to reestablishing their credit.  There are many myths about bankruptcy that are simply not true. Call us for a free consultation. At this first meeting we will discuss your foreclosure and bankruptcy options and how we can keep you in your home. Thank you for visiting the Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. foreclosure blog.

2012: A Banner Year For Foreclosures On Long Island

During 2012, in many villages on Long Island, there were more foreclosures than there were real estate sales.  Areas where there were more foreclosures than real estate sales involve the towns of Freeport, Bellport, Inwood, Amityville and a variety of other towns on Long Island.  Even without the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the real estate market was far from being healthy.

Home Sales Fall

In 2005 there were approximately 50,000 homes sold on Long Island.  In 2012 there were only 22,000 home sales.  The value of the homes sold in 2005 was approximately $30 billion, while the value of the real estate transactions in 2012 was only $13 billion dollars.  There were approximately 6,200 foreclosed homes in 2005 while there were 14,000 in the year 2012.

Stagnant Real Estate Market

The real estate market on Long Island is not recovering.  Experts refer to it as being “stagnant”.  Maryann Garvin who heads the Community Development Corp of Long Island, a not for profit housing advocacy group, recently stated “you want a healthy housing market where you have movement…where people can sell their house and get a bigger house, or sell it and get a smaller house.  It doesn’t feel like our market is that fluid.”

Investors Buying Homes

In some areas of Long Island, speculators are purchasing distressed homes.  These speculators purchase the homes, do a minimum amount of repairs and either rent them or resell them for a profit.  Investors are now becoming involved in the purchase of homes in water front communities which were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.  In some of these situations the homeowners have decided not to repair their homes because of the fear there will be hurricanes in the future.

Unfortunately for the homeowners, the real estate market in many of these areas was further devastated by the extensive damage caused to many homes by Hurricane Sandy.  The investors are buying these homes for rock bottom prices with the hope in a few years people won’t remember the problems caused by Sandy and they will make a significant profit on their investments.

Fighting Foreclosure Proceedings

Many homeowners, especially those in waterfront communities which were significantly damaged by Hurricane Sandy are no longer paying their mortgages.  They hope to stay in their homes for as long as they can while hiring lawyers to fight their foreclosures proceedings.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo is one of the largest foreclosure defense law firms in the metropolitan New York area.  Our firm has helped hundreds of families stay in their homes and fight off foreclosure proceedings.  In some of our cases, families have not made mortgage payments for close to a decade and still reside in their homes.  Our law office aggressively litigates issues concerning fraudulent mortgages, foreclosure fraud and predatory lending issues.

The Statute of Limitations Expired: Case Dismissed!

In a foreclosure lawsuit in Kings County before Justice Johnny Bayes, a set of facts was presented to the court concerning issues involving a statute of limitations defense and a mortgage modification. The Bank of New York had initiated a foreclosure lawsuit and thereafter brought a motion for summary judgment (a motion claiming there are no issues of fact). The defendant in this case, McQueen, brought a cross application for summary judgment. She also asked for a declaratory judgment which argued the statute of limitations had run on the mortgage and therefore the mortgage was now unenforceable.

Bank of New York’s Defense

The Bank of New York claimed McQueen had submitted a mortgage loan modification application and correspondence requesting information about the mortgage. The Bank of New York asserted these two items tolled (stopped) the running of the statute of limitations on the mortgage. It should be noted the Bank of New York rejected the mortgage modification application. However, even after they rejected the application, they alleged in their court documents the modification application and the correspondence resurrected the expired statute of limitations and also constituted a further acknowledgment of the debt.

Court Doesn’t Buy Bank of New York’s Defense

Justice Baynes stated that the request for a mortgage modification was simply a settlement offer. Settlement offers do not contain an acknowledgment of liability. Therefore, settlement offers such as mortgage modifications are not admissible at trial as evidence of liability. Justice Baynes ruled the application for request for a modification was not an offer to pay the mortgage. The letters did not constitute a promise to pay by McQueen. Bank of New York’s motion was denied and McQueen’s cross motion was granted. The Judge ruled that the statute of limitations had run on the mortgage and the mortgage was therefore unenforceable.

Elliot S. Schlissel and his associates have been helping homeowners stay in their homes and fight foreclosure lawsuits for more than 35 years.

Foreclosure Defense in Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick and Bellmore, New York

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