ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON HOUSING
ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON BANKS
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
ORAL TESTIMONY WILL BE BY INVITATION ONLY
In response to the foreclosure crisis that continues to buffet our economy, New York has revised its laws and established programs that make the foreclosure process fairer to homeowners and tenants. The Legislature has appropriated funds to assist beleaguered homeowners in obtaining counseling and legal representation, created mandatory foreclosure conferences to foster equitable settlements, and sought to prevent foreclosed properties from becoming burdens on our fiscally strapped localities.
Recent events, including the decisions of several trial courts, have revealed serious shortcomings in the legal papers submitted to the courts by plaintiffs and, thus, cast doubts on the integrity of the judicial foreclosure process. Among other issues, national headlines have highlighted how the failure of the public recording system to accurately reflect the ownership of mortgages and mortgage notes has impaired the ability of homeowners to respond to foreclosures and courts to determine the rights of both lenders and homeowners. This hearing will examine what, if any, further changes to New York law should be implemented to restore the integrity of these public records. Legislation that addresses some of these concerns includes A.8684B (2010) upon which the committees would welcome comment.
The hearing also will examine ways in which to better enable lenders, homeowners and courts to disentangle the web of mortgage promissory note assignments, the complexity and opaqueness of which has contributed, in part, to the state and national foreclosure crisis. Testimony should address ways of ensuring accurate court submissions by those parties who have legal standing to foreclose a mortgage including A.11465 (2010), which would limit standing to commence a foreclosure action to the actual holder of the mortgage and note or such holder's agent.
This hearing will also focus on the effectiveness of the monies appropriated in the SFY 2010-11 budget to aid victims of subprime lending facing foreclosure. Testimony should address the quality and effectiveness of the counseling and legal services funded by this and prior appropriations.
In addition, possible errors in the securitization process may have resulted in significant loss of tax revenues to the state and material liability to the creators of certain real estate trusts. Testimony should address the extent to which securitization trusts have exposed themselves to state tax liability by failing to comply with the federal and state law regarding Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMICs).
Persons invited to present testimony at the above hearing should direct their testimony to those selected issues set forth in this notice and 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.
Twenty (20) copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.
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.