ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON HOUSING
ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON BANKS
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
November 7, 2011
Room 1923, 19th Floor
In the past few years there has been a marked increase in foreclosure rates around the United States. There are several factors that have led to this recent rise in foreclosures. Poor lending practices and speculation in the housing market combined with the recent economic downturn have coalesced to push many low- and middle-income families out of their homes while simultaneously damaging the family's credit. In addition to this loss, mortgage foreclosures also cause negative effects on the surrounding community. Homes can often remain vacant for long periods of time during a foreclosure process, lowering housing prices in the surrounding areas. This has caused a ripple effect in some communities, causing other homes to be abandoned and making it more difficult for families that are seeking to sell their homes. Foreclosures can also be damaging to lending institutions. These disruptions in normal business can lead to financial losses and will likely reduce a bank's ability to properly function. It is important to reduce the number of mortgage foreclosures, as the damage caused by them can be felt across all sections of society.
The Legislature has explored and pursued ways to address this crisis. In 2008, the Legislature provided funding for foreclosure prevention services aimed at providing support for families facing default on sub-prime mortgages. The legislature provided additional support for the program in 2009-2010. However, the mortgage foreclosure crisis has expanded beyond the realm of sub-prime defaults. The program launched in 2008 has created and sustained a strong network of foreclosure prevention collaborations and services across the state that help prevent home loss and help stabilize communities across the state. This year, the Executive vetoed funding to assist with the operation of the foreclosure prevention services program. This hearing will examine the mortgage foreclosure process, its effect on surrounding communities and explore potential new solutions to address this continuing problem.
Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony.
Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.
Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.
In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.
Helene E. Weinstein
Member of Assembly
Committee on Judiciary
Member of Assembly
Committee on Banks
What delinquency and foreclosure trends are occurring in New York? Do the trends differ in various regions of the State? What is the effect of foreclosures on surrounding communities?
What are the most significant barriers to modifying loans? What are the most common reasons for denials of modifications?
How are the settlement conferences working? Have they been successful? How could they be improved in order to become more efficient?
Are the New York State Department of Financial Services' regulations regarding mortgage servicers that went into effect last year (Oct. 1, 2010) making a difference? How is compliance being monitored? What is the rate of compliance?
What steps, if any, legislative or other, could be taken to reduce foreclosures in New York? What steps, if any, legislative or other, could be taken to strengthen and shorten the foreclosure process?
What sources of funding have enabled not-for-profits to assist individuals facing foreclosure?
What is the impact of funding for foreclosure prevention services? What is the impact of loss of funding for these services?