New Law Helps Homeowners: Part I

foreclosure defense attorneysThe New York State legislature has passed a new statute which has an effective date of August 30, 2013. The statute impacts in the manner and procedures utilized by financial institutions and their attorneys commencing foreclosure proceedings within the State of New York.

Certificate of Merit

All foreclosure actions commenced after August 30, 2013, will require a Certificate of Merit. This document must be attached to the Summons and Complaint. The Certificate of Merit requires the attorney for the plaintiff to certify he or she has reviewed all of the facts in the case. In addition, the attorney will have to certify based on consultation with representatives of the plaintiff, (financial institution) who is identified in the certificate, that the attorney has taken the time to review pertinent facts and documents related to this proceeding. The attorney will have to review the mortgage, the security agreement, the note or the bond underlying the mortgage. Only after this review, if there is a reasonable basis for the starting of a foreclosure lawsuit, can the attorney at that point bring a proceeding to foreclose.

Note and Mortgage

This new statute will require the attorney for the plaintiff to attach a copy of the note and the mortgage to the Summons and Complaint. In addition, the attorney will have to attach all documents evidencing transfers leading from the original financial institution to the current plaintiff showing all documents have been appropriately filed and the party bringing this lawsuit has standing to sue the homeowner.

In the event the attorney and/or the financial institution does not completely comply with these new requirements the judge handling the case will have full authority to dismiss the foreclosure proceeding. In addition, the judge will have authority to deny all accrued interest and other financial expenses that increase the amount of the indebtedness owed by the debtor during the entire long foreclosure process.assistance for homeowners

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