New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill intended to defendants in foreclosure court. The bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Helene Weinstein and State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, which amends Article 13 in Real Property Actions & Proceedings and allows defendants more leeway to bring up the defense of “standing” in foreclosure court, Kings County Politics reports.
New York has some of the highest delinquency and foreclosure rates in the county, concentrated in New York City. According to data from LendingTree in November 2019, the New York-Newark-New Jersey metro had the highest serious delinquency rate of 2.6%. The metro also had the highest overall foreclosure rate at 1.3%.
Additionally, New York has some of the longest foreclosure timelines in the country, at an average of 1,103 days.
“More homeowners will rightfully keep their homes, now that the governor has signed my bill into law,” said Weinstein.
According to Kings County Politics, the law previously stated that if a defendant didn’t know who actually owned their mortgage and wanted to challenge their plaintiff’s standing to sue to foreclosure, they could only do so within 30 days.
“In reality, many homeowners do not even understand the suit papers served against them, and/or do not hire a lawyer until it is too late to raise lack of standing as a defense. The law was in need of a significant alteration to permit this defense to be raised at any time in the litigation,” Weinstein said.
Alongside foreclosures, New York has also been searching for ways to reduce zombie properties in the state. In December, New York also took a stab at zombie properties when Gov. Cuomo signed legislation granting local cities more power in fighting against zombie properties, according to a news affiliate out of Albany, New York.
The law will authorize local governments to compel mortgage lenders to “fast track” foreclosure properties or release the abandoned property to allow for resolution on a local level.