New Yorkers for Responsible Lending Releases Report Showing the Need for Uniform Foreclosure Settlement Conferences

The statewide coalition, New Yorkers for Responsible Lending (NYRL), released the results from its survey of New York’s court-mediated foreclosure settlement conferences’ practices and procedures. The study found that there is such variation in conferences between the different counties in New York, that outcomes are as much dependent on geographical location as they are on merit. Although foreclosure settlement conferences are intended to aid homeowners in preventing the loss of their home, homeowners are not given the same opportunities because policies are not uniform across the board.

As part of the NYRL study, possible improvements to foreclosure settlement conferences were discussed. If these improvements are made, it is posited that more homeowners will be able to save their home from foreclosure. The main suggestion is to create uniform policies and procedures, and consistently implement them across New York State. This would include clarifying what authority a court has when a party negotiates in bad faith. Also, creating procedures to handle attorneys when they negotiate without the authority necessary or are not prepared for the conference, was discussed to better the process for homeowners.

Additionally, NYRL recommends better record keeping to improve accountability and efficiency, uniform order forms, a system where a mediator will be appointed for each case, and a separate calendar for initial settlement conferences. The hope is that this will reduce the some 90,000 pending foreclosures that were reported as of October 2015.

If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, an experienced attorney may be able to help you save your home and protect your legal rights. Contact Wendy Pelle-Beer & Associates at (718) 313-0770 for the representation you deserve.

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