Mortgage Foreclosure Newsletter
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May 2017
 
Spring is finally here and we have some warmer weather; no more winter coats, scarves and hats! However, many of our Nassau residents are still struggling with foreclosure and returning to their Sandy-distressed homes.
 
Spring has traditionally been the time for beginnings and the Mortgage Foreclosure Project is no exception. Greg Fishkin is no longer with the project and is now with the Court System. Our new Coordinator is Nicole Lubell who is ready, willing and able to assist. Her email is nlubell@nassaubar.org, but you can find her in the courtroom at every Mandatory Conference.
 
Gale D. Berg
Director of Pro Bono Attorney Activities
Latest News on Mortgage Foreclosure
2017 Changes to Nassau Supreme Court Mandatory Conference procedures:
  • For first time settlement conferences, Referees in Nassau must instruct Defendants (homeowners) that they have an additional 30 days to file an Answer or Amended Answer to the Summons & Complaint. The Referee will hand each homeowner a form Answer with instructions, as well as a Consumer Bill of Rights and a list of Housing Counseling entities, and will ask that the Homeowner to sign a form acknowledging receipt of these documents.
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  • The Nassau County Bar Association Pro Bono volunteers will help homeowners with completing and/or drafting and filing these Answers either in court or at one of our clinics.
Cases are now being scheduled for “status conferences” that appear on e-courts and are often confused for settlement conferences. Homeowners should be instructed not to attend Court on the date of these conferences as they have no role. On these dates, Plaintiffs are asked to provide “electronic status reports” to the Court, which are to detail their progress in the matter. These reports are not shared with homeowners.  
 
Reverse Mortgage Lenders Are Now Part of the Mandatory Conference Process.  
 
CFPB sues Ocwen: If you are having issues with Ocwen please let us know.
 
  • On April 21, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), along with the Attorneys General from over 20 states, filed lawsuits against Ocwen. Allegations range from improperly initiating foreclosure proceedings and wrongfully holding foreclosure sales, to much more basic issues like sending inaccurate mortgage statements, improperly crediting payments and improper handling of taxes and insurance payments. The response from Ocwen appears to be an effort to question the constitutionality of the CFPB.
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  • Ocwen appears to have changed their procedures since the ending of HAMP to preclude many borrowers from any sort of modification based on their incomes. NCBA is seeing denials based on a loan being more than 90 days delinquent, and for some, the only option being considered is a streamlined modification that would require a 20% decrease in principal and interest payments. Considering Ocwen appears to be incapable of keeping accurate records of the amounts owed, and is not reviewing clients based on their incomes but rather on information they may have been mishandling, it will be even more important to keep an eye on their activity going forward.
*Notes regarding new Nassau Settlement Conference procedure: (See January 2017 Newsletter)  
 
MAP Update – The Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) has returned. You must speak with a Housing Counselor to determine if you are eligible for these funds. Housing counselors are present at all NCBA Mortgage Clinics.
 
UPCOMING
 
Mortgage Foreclosure SuperStorm Sandy Clinic

 
June 5 & 26*
July 10 & 24
All clinics are Mondays
3-5 p.m. and interpreting provided when calling to register
 
WHO WE ARE
 
Founded in 1899, the Nassau County Bar Association consists of private and public attorneys, judges, legal educators and law students who demonstrate their commitment to the community. The NCBA Mortgage Foreclosure SuperStorm Sandy Project is one of those commitments. It provides free legal clinics as well as representation at mandatory foreclosure conferences in Supreme Court.
 
DID YOU KNOW?
 
The Mortgage Foreclosure Project has a Pro Bono Attorney at ALL conferences ready to help if asked. Conferences are held Monday through Wednesday at 9:00 am, and 2:00 pm.
 
COMMENTARY
 
At a recent clinic a comment was: "As always, everyone here is super qualified and extraordinarily helpful."
 
NOTE
 
Look for our new interactive webpages at www.nassaubar.org and press Mortgage Foreclosure on the left column
 
Deed Theft
 
Always be on the LOOKOUT FOR DEED THEFT and please report it to us and to the Attorney General’s office! Thank you!
 
OFFICE
 
Nassau County Bar Association
15th & West Streets
Mineola, NY 11501
Tel: (516)747-4070
 
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Funded through the New York State Attorney General Homeownership Protection Program
 
Next Open House For All Issues To Be Held on June 26, 2017
Our next OPEN HOUSE will be on June 26, 2017, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. Questions concerning matrimonial or family law, labor, bankruptcy and senior issues can be addressed. Approximately 137 individuals received answers to their questions at our October Open House.
SuperStorm Sandy Households Needing Engery Assistance
New York State is accepting applications for Home Energy Assistance. The program will give low/moderate income households funding to receive heat. In addition, emergency funding started January 3, 2017, for those at risk of losing heat. The Center for NYC Neighborhoods has an online interactive resource for homeowners struggling to make sense of flood insurance called, “Weathering the Storm.”
Information for Pro Bono Volunteers
CLE Credit Available to NCBA Volunteers:
  • The Mortgage Foreclosure Project at NCBA would not be what it is today without the generosity of volunteer attorneys. The attorneys involved in this program are kind enough to put their lives and practices on hold in order to provide much needed advice and guidance to those who are going through a tough time with nowhere to turn. As a small thank you to those who have become involved, we are offering free access to PLI Live, Webcast and On-Demand programs. For more information about how to take advantage, please contact Gale D. Berg at gberg@nassaubar.org or 516-747-4070.
  • If you would like more information on volunteer opportunities at NCBA, sign up to receive the latest information by sending an email to: mortgageforeclosure@nassaubar.org Attention: Nicole Lubell, Settlement Conference Coordinator. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who you think will be interested or helpful to them or needs this information.

This communication provides general information only. This is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer. The information presented at this site should not be construed as the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


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