New York Daily News
By Phyllis Furman
Dear Gov. Cuomo: Please sign this bill so that more New Yorkers won’t lose their homes in foreclosure.
A statewide coalition of 161 community organizations and nonprofits, called New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, sent a letter on Wednesday to the governor urging him to quickly sign into law a bill that requires lawyers for banks to certify the legitimacy of foreclosure lawsuits when they file them.
For now, lenders’ lawyers are not required to come up with the goods upfront.
Their failure to produce these papers has resulted in what is known as the “shadow docket,” a state of legal limbo where cases get stuck in court for months and sometimes even years.
An estimated 25,000 foreclosure cases are now sitting in the shadow docket in New York State, and 92 New Yorkers enter it every day, the coalition says.
The fallout: New Yorkers in the shadow docket can’t exercise their legal right to a settlement conference that might help them keep their home.
They also rack up fees and interest payments as their cases sit.
The bill was passed by the New York State Legislature on June 21.
“There is a real sense of urgency here,” Sarah Ludwig, co-director of New Economy Project, one of the coalition members, told the Daily News.
“You have tens of thousands of people stuck in our court system at risk of losing their homes.”
“We are reviewing the legislation,” Matt Wing, a spokesman for the governor said.
The law would also deter robo-signing – the mass production of bogus foreclosure papers – and prevent the filing of foreclosures by lenders who don’t actually own the loan, the coalition said.