Proposal Aims to Improve Foreclosure Process Tracking
September 15, 2016
The state Office of Court Administration has opened a period for public comment on an administration proposal to require two new pieces of paperwork in settlement conferences required by New York courts in residential foreclosures.
The new “intake” and “status” forms are designed to better track progress the parties are making during settlement conferences that OCA says can often require several meetings over several months.
A memorandum in support of the proposal from Judge Sherry Klein Heitler, chief of planning and policy at OCA, said that with no current status update requirements, it can be difficult to tell if parties are progressing toward settlements that will allow debtors to avoid foreclosures and keep their homes.
The reports, to be filed after each settlement conference, also should help improve the continuity of the sessions, Heitler said.
“The forms will be particularly helpful to unrepresented litigants as well as to banks who in many cases utilize per diem counsel” at foreclosure proceedings, Heitler’s memo said.
The mandatory settlement conferences were introduced in 2008 as the foreclosure crisis accelerated in some parts of the state, especially Long Island and New York City. New York is a judicial foreclosure state, where foreclosures must go through the court system.
There were 98,000 foreclosures in New York state in 2015, and 51,900 so far in 2016 through August, according to OCA.
Heitler said the proposed paperwork requirement was developed in discussions with judges, court clerks and lawyers for lenders, consumers and legal services groups.
OCA will accept public comments until Nov. 1. Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to John McConnell, Counsel, Office of Court Administration, 25 Beaver St., 11th floor, New York, NY 10004.
Source: New York Law Journal