Protecting Homeowners against Home Equity Theft
Equity theft scams involve homeowners, many of whom are low- and middle-income
or elderly, who fall behind on their mortgages, at which point they are approached by
unscrupulous individuals or businesses who promise to help solve their problems.
Instead of receiving assistance, however, the homeowners are misled into surrendering
their property titles for little or no benefit to themselves.
Home Equity Theft Prevention Act — A.10057-B (Towns),
which has been signed into law by the Governor (Chapter 308), enacts the Home Equity
Theft Prevention Act. This new law will provide protections for homeowners in default or
foreclosure who sell their homes, including: requiring that any sales agreement between
an equity seller and an equity purchaser be in writing; prohibiting equity purchasers from
engaging in deceitful practices; and, affording homeowners a reasonable opportunity to
rescind sales to equity purchasers.
Preserving the Legacy of Military Veterans
Currently, military awards found in safe deposit boxes that are deemed abandoned
are allowed to be sold off at auction. Allowing these awards to be sold at auction is
disrespectful to the memory of the veterans who earned them. If the owners of military
awards cannot be found, then such awards should be sent to the Division of Military
and Naval affairs for a more appropriate disposition.
A.7100-B (Towns) — This bill, which has been signed
into law by the Governor (Chapter 297), bans the sale of any military award, medal or
decoration found in safe deposit boxes deemed to be abandoned. Instead, the award
will be sent to the Division of Military and Naval Affairs. Furthermore, this new law will
allow awards to be displayed at the New York State Military Museum and Veterans
Improving the Professionalism and Regulation of the Mortgage Industry
State regulators, through the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, are working to
develop a nationwide registry of mortgage companies and their employees. Such a
system would help increase accountability and professionalism in the mortgage
A.10802-A (Greene) — This bill, which also has passed
the Senate, would provide for the registration of some mortgage loan originators and also
would establish educational standards for such individuals. The bill is designed not only
to protect consumers against deceptive practices and entities, but also to solidify the
reputation of the many mortgage bankers, brokers and employees who operate in a
consistently professional manner.
A.11901 (Benjamin) — From time to time, sellers
and purchasers of residential property may not execute or “close” the sale transaction
upon the date and time scheduled because of the lack of funds available to pay
outstanding liens, the purchase cost, and related closing costs and fees. This bill,
which has been signed into law by the Governor (Chapter 500), directs the Superintendent
of Banks to investigate this problem, to suggest potential solutions to this issue, and to
report any findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by
April 30, 2007.
Providing Improved Access to Banks for Underserved Communities
There are many communities in New York State that have little or no access to banks
and the traditional financial services that banks provide. The Legislature created the
Banking Development District (BDD) program in 1997 to encourage banks to establish
branches in areas that demonstrate a need for enhanced banking services.
A.10121 (Peralta) — This bill would authorize banks,
trust companies and national banks to apply for and be accepted into the BDD program
in a preexisting banking development district. This bill has passed the Assembly.
Providing Banks with Greater Business Flexibility
A.11351 (Towns) — This bill, which has been signed
into law by the Governor (Chapter 454), will help state-chartered banks to be more
competitive with national banks in providing trust services. Specifically, this new law
permits out-of-state state banks and trust companies to open trust offices in New
York State, and also allows banking institutions to engage in certain trust acquisitions.
A.11396 (Towns) — This bill, which has been signed
into law by the Governor (Chapter 455), permits banks to declare dividends more than
quarterly if authorized by the Superintendent of Banks, and also allows certain banking
institutions to merge with non-bank corporate subsidiaries or affiliates.
For more information, contact...
Darryl C. Towns, Chairman
New York State Assembly
Committee on Banks
Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12248
840 Jamaica Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11208
Ensuring the Effective Regulation of the Banking Industry
A sound, efficient regulatory framework is an important component in maintaining the
health of New York State’s financial sector.
A.11307 (Camara) — This bill, which has been signed
into law by the Governor (Chapter 456), clarifies and makes consistent the definition of
budget planning and the qualifications to be licensed and engage in the business of
budget planning, thereby correcting several inconsistencies arising from budget planner
legislation adopted in 2002.
A.11861 (Maisel) — This bill, which has been signed
into law by the Governor (Chapter 464), provides improved supervisory flexibility for the
Superintendent of Banks. Specifically, this new law allows the Superintendent greater
latitude in coordinating examinations with the federal banking regulators, and also gives
the Superintendent some flexibility in selecting members to the Banking Board.