Home

Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A.1298 (Weinstein) / S.5242 (Savino)

Support

SUBJECT:

Expands the provisions relating to mandatory settlement conferences in residential foreclosure actions

 

DATE:

March 22, 2016

 

The Business Council opposes this legislation which would impose additional compliance requirements to the mandatory settlement conference provisions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

The bill details the types of workout options available during negotiation and also lists factors to determine whether the parties have complied and acted in good faith as well as authorizing sanctions for lack of compliance.

Chapter 507 of the Laws of 2009 addressed many of the issues raised in this bill by expanding the scope of settlement conferences and protections for the homeowner – setting forth the necessary documents and requiring all parties to conduct negotiations in good faith. This bill does not improve the current process in place, but adds delays to a foreclosure process that is already exceeding 1,000 days to reach conclusion.

There is little doubt that abandoned homes are blight on communities and a negative drag on the economy of the state. The longer these properties remain vacant, the more difficult and costly they are to sell.  Additionally, the negative impact these abandoned structures have on nearby homes and neighborhoods is well-documented. Unfortunately, efforts to foreclose on vacant properties and get them re-sold and current on their real property taxes are thwarted by an unnecessarily lengthy and complex legal process. The intent of this bill - to provide clarification and guidance for the parties involved in a foreclosure proceeding – is simply not met. Rather, it will serve to impair resolution of foreclosure proceedings and delay getting the property back on the market.

For these reasons the Business Council urges disapproval of A.1298/S.5242.