New York Law Blog

HECM Rules


HECM Rules Allow Spouses Of Reverse Mortgage Borrowers To Remain In The Home

FHA announced changes to its HECM aka reverse mortgage program two years ago. Yet, many people are unaware that this change allows non-borrowing spouses to stay in their homes after the last surviving borrower dies.

FHA released new guidance earlier this year allowing FHA-approved lenders to delay foreclosure proceedings against non-borrowing spouses. Non-borrower spouses will be allowed to stay in the home in the event of the death of the borrower.


FHA is now expanding on those changes to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program. The new policy allows lenders to submit claims on HECMs with non-borrowing spouses on loans assigned before August 4, 2014.

Lenders would submit claims by:

  • Electing to assign the HECM to HUD upon the death of the borrower where the HECM would not otherwise be assignable to FHA.
  • Allowing claim payment following the sale of the property by heirs or estate.
  • Foreclosing in accordance with the terms of the mortgage. Then file an insurance claim under the FHA insurance contract as endorsed

FHA will now allow lenders to assign a HECM to HUD despite the death of the borrower.

The Non-Borrowing Spouse May Remain In Their Home If They Meet Certain Criteria

HUD will allow the non-borrowing spouse to remain in their home if they meet the terms of the original mortgage. They must also meet the following conditions:

  • The lender or servicer agrees
  • The loan was assigned an FHA case number prior to August 4, 2014
  • The non-borrowing spouse is current in making timely tax and insurance payments
  • They maintain the property under the terms and conditions of the HECM
  • The couple was legally married when the loan closed.
  • The spouse and non-borrowing spouse were in a committed same-sex relationship but were prohibited from legally marrying.
  • The borrower and non-borrowing spouse became legally married prior to the death of the borrower
  • They currently reside and resided in the property as his/her principal residence at the origination of the HECM and throughout the duration of the HECM borrower’s life
  • They have, or are able to obtain, within 90 days following the last surviving borrower’s death, good, marketable title to the property or a legal right to remain in the property for life
Our law office focuses on helping New York seniors with their Reverse Mortgages. To learn more call us today at 888.574.7771 or check us out on Facebook

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgages

What You Need to Know About Reverse Mortgages 

What are Reverse Mortgages?

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages are home equity loans that allow you to convert part of the equity into cash. This can be an attractive option for senior citizens who may find themselves “house rich” but “cash poor.”

Equity is the difference between the appraised value of your home and your outstanding mortgage balance. The equity in your home rises as the size of your mortgage shrinks and/or your property value grows. In a reverse mortgage, you are borrowing money against the amount of equity in your home.

As the name says, reverse mortgages work like a traditional mortgage, only in reverse. Instead of a borrower making payments to a lender, the lender makes payments to the borrower. Most reverse mortgages do not require payment of principal, interest, and fees as long as you live in your home. The homeowner can use the money for anything. The lender will require the homeowner pay off the balance of any existing mortgages.

The Mechanics of Reverse Mortgages

You pay monthly payments to reduce your debt until the loan is paid off with a conventional mortgage. In reverse mortgages, your total debt increases as the lender gives you more money. Reverse mortgages are rising-debt loans. This means that the interest is added to the principal loan balance each month. Since the interest is not paid on a current basis, the total amount of interest you owe increases significantly with time as the interest compounds. You remain responsible for payment of the taxes, repairs, and maintenance.

You can never owe more than the value of the home with a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgages are “non-recourse” loans. This means that if you default on the loan the lender cannot seize any assets to cure the balance.

Reverse Mortgages Right for For Certain People?

When considering whether to apply for a reverse mortgage, you need to determine two important things: first, are you healthy enough to remain in your home and second, do you wish to remain in your home? Are alternatives, such as selling your home and purchasing a smaller, less expensive home, better for you? Will your children, or other heirs, want to inherit the home? Will you get enough money from the reverse mortgage to enable you to live in your home?

Who Can Get a Reverse Mortgage?

  • You must own your home.
  • For some reverse mortgage loans you must be at least 60 years old and for others, you must be at least 70 years of age and have a low income. Note: For FHA reverse mortgages (HECM), you must be at least 62 years old.
  • Your home must be your primary residence; you must live in it for more than half of the year.
  • For most reverse mortgages, your home must be a single-family home, a 1-to-4 unit building, or a federally-approved condominium or planned unit development.
  • If you already have a debt or existing mortgage against your home, you must pay it off or use a cash advance from the reverse mortgage to pay it off. You will not qualify for a large enough cash advance to pay it off if you don’t pay off the debt beforehand. You will also not qualify for a reverse mortgage.
  • Money from the reverse mortgage must also be set aside if your home needs physical repairs to qualify for a reverse mortgage.

How Much Can a Reverse Mortgage Be For?

The amount of the mortgage will depend on the age of the borrower, the value of the home and the current interest rates. In general, the loan amount will be bigger if the homeowner is older, the value of the house is higher and the interest rates lower. Usually, the loan should not be more than 80% of what the anticipated value of the property at loan maturity (or loan-to-value ratio) will be.

Use the calculator at to estimate how much cash you might receive from a reverse mortgage.

How do Reverse Mortgages Get Paid?

  • Immediate cash advance – A lump sum of cash paid to you on the first day of the loan.
  • Credit line account – An account that lets you take out cash whenever you want during the life of the loan until you use it up. The amount you get will depend on whether the credit line is “flat” or “growing”. With a flat credit line, your remaining credit decreases with each cash advance you take. With a growing credit line, your remaining credit grows larger by a yearly rate.
  • Monthly cash advance – The total amount of cash you get will depend on whether you get payments for a set number of years, or get payments for as long as you live in your home.
  • A combination of lump sum payment and monthly payments.
  • For the rest of your life – If you use the reverse mortgage to buy an annuity, the amount of cash you get will depend on how long you live no matter where you end up living.

What Does It Cost to Apply for a Reverse Mortgage?

Before closing on a loan, the only charge a lender may collect from a borrower is an application fee. That application fee must be designated as such and may not be a percentage of the principal amount of the reverse mortgage or of the amount financed. Any other fees associated with the reverse mortgage may be financed as part of the loan.

Fees, Costs, and Payments at Origination

Origination occurs when the lender qualifies the borrower to get the loan. The lender appraises the home and processes all the necessary documents. The lender will then advance the money to the borrower. The fees, costs, and payments which a lender may charge when the loan is originated are:

  • Loan origination fee
  • Document preparation and ‘recording’ the loan
  • Appraisal or survey of the property
  • Title and tax search
  • Attorney’s fees charged to the lender in connection with the closing of the loan
  • Credit report
  • Flood zone search
  • Inspection fee
  • Annuity purchase payment
  • Repairs contracted for, at or before the loan closing
  • Tax reporting service (a one-time fee)
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Real estate taxes and property insurance
  • Mortgage brokerage services (not to exceed three points based on the value of the property)

Fees, Costs, and Payments During the Life of the Loan

There are additional fees that the lender can charge you while the reverse mortgage is outstanding. The lender can ask that you pay these directly or add them to your loan balance. The only fees, costs, and payments which a lender may charge during the loan are:

  • Additional mortgage insurance
  • Maintenance costs to the structural integrity of the home
  • Appraisal costs for the refinancing or extension of the loan
  • Real estate taxes and property insurance
  • Monthly servicing fees of not more than $30.00

At the end of the loan

At the end of the loan, there may be additional fees, costs or payments. The lender may charge a termination or maturity fee. This fee would be the actual cost of arranging for the sale or foreclosure of the real property securing the loan. It may include broker’s fees, advertising costs, moving and/or storage costs and legal and other fees incurred by the lender. It may not be a flat percentage fee.

Shared Appreciation and Equity Participation

In exchange for a lower interest rate the lender and the borrower may agree to “shared appreciation” or “equity participation.” Participation mortgages are so named because the lender “participates,” or has the right to a share in any increase in the value of your home as well as the interest on the loan.

A Shared Appreciation Mortgage (SAM) takes into account the appreciation in value of the house between the time the loan is signed and the end of the loan term. The lender receives an agreed-to percentage of the appreciated value of the loan when the loan is terminated.

When Does A Reverse Mortgage Need To Be Repaid?

  • The loan may be for a certain number of years which is known as a “term” loan, or for an undetermined length of time which is known as a “tenure” loan. A tenure loan matures upon an event such as when the last surviving borrower dies, sells the home or fails to live in the home for 12 months in a row.
  • If you fail to pay your property taxes or insurance or let your home fall into disrepair. Lenders can opt to pay for these expenses by reducing your loan advances (if you haven’t used up all your funds).
  • You may have to pay the loan back if the lender determines that a change has been made that could affect the security of the loan like renting out part or all of your home, adding a new owner to the title, changing your zoning classification or taking out new debt against your home.

How are Reverse Mortgages Repaid?

The total amount you will owe at the end of the loan (“Loan balance”) will include the total amount borrowed (including any amounts used to pay fees or costs) and all of the interest that money has accrued.

  • If you sell the house, you can pay back the loan from the money you get from the sale. If the balance of the loan is less than the value of the home at the end of the loan period or the money you get from the selling the home at any time, then the lender gets paid the amount owed, and you or your heirs keep the rest.
  • Any heirs to the home can pay back the loan.
  • The homeowner or the heirs can take out a new forward mortgage on the home.

The Lender’s Responsibilities

The lender must give you a statement prepared by the local or county office for the aging on available independent counseling and information services.

The lender must also give you a description of the relevant features of the reverse mortgage being offered. This should include the following information:

  • The interest rate to be charged and whether it is fixed, variable or both;
  • Interest accrues from the time monies are advanced to you and the interest is compounded;
  • All fees, costs, and payments that must be paid by you;
  • A description of any refinancing features that you have discussed;
  • Any events that could terminate the reverse mortgage such as death or moving from the residence;
  • A description of any shared appreciation or equity participation features; and
  • A toll-free telephone number and the name of a person who can answer any questions, comments or complaints that you may have. If there is no toll-free telephone number, they must accept collect calls.

The lender can only charge interest on advances of funds actually made from the reserve account. They can not charge interest on the entire balance in the reserve account. If the lender fails to make any payment required under the loan agreement within fifteen days of the due date, the lender must forfeit twice the interest that would have been earned on the outstanding loan principal for the entire period during which payments were suspended, ceased or made late.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

IF YOU DO NOT ADHERE TO CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS, THE LENDER MAY HAVE THE RIGHT TO FORECLOSE ON YOUR PROPERTY AND TAKE IT FROM YOU. It is extremely important to have a complete understanding of all aspects of a reverse mortgage loan.

Take good care of the house. It should be in the same condition as it was in at the time of closing.

If there is no escrow account established by the lender, you must pay the real estate taxes and insurance premiums on the property directly.

You and the lender may agree to set up a reserve account that may be used by either party to keep the house in good condition or to pay taxes, insurance premiums or personal expenses.

You may choose a property insurer but the lender must approve that choice. If you don’t choose an insurer on time or the insurer is not acceptable to the lender, they may choose the insurer.

What are the Potential Risks?

  • The interest is compounded on reverse mortgage loans. This means that you are paying interest on both the principal and the interest which has already accrued each month. Compounded interest causes the outstanding amount to grow at an increasingly fast rate. This means the equity in your home will be used to pay the interest on the amount that the lender pays to you.
  • Don’t borrow more than you need. Figure out exactly how much you need to supplement your income in advance so that you don’t end up paying interest on money that you didn’t need.

What Are the Potential Benefits?

Reverse mortgages can be of benefit to those senior citizens who are reasonably healthy, want to remain in their homes and find that they are “house rich” but “cash poor”.

  • There is no financial penalty if you choose to pre-pay the loan.
  • You will not have to make any payments on the loan for as long as you live in your home.
  • You will have a guaranteed monthly income or a guaranteed credit line.
  • Borrowers can pay off a previous home debt with an advance from their reverse mortgage. You may not have to pay off other debt against your home if a prior lender agrees to be repaid after the reverse mortgage is repaid. Generally, only state or local government lending agencies are willing to consider “subordinating” their loans in this way.
  • The debt is limited to the value of your home.

To learn more call us today at 888.574.7771 or check us out on Facebook

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures

How You Can Find Yourself Facing A Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure

Many seniors in New York are facing reverse mortgage foreclosure. If they lose their homes they may find themselves living in a cardboard box.

Unpaid Property Taxes Are The Main Reason For Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures

The failure to pay their property taxes is why many seniors are now facing reverse mortgage foreclosure. Many reverse mortgage foreclosures are a result of lenders paying the wrong amount in taxes. Lenders also fail to properly apply the tax payment to the client’s transaction history.

There are many consumer protection statutes which protect homeowners mortgage foreclosures. Yet these protections do not apply to people facing reverse mortgage foreclosure.

Seniors are not given mandatory foreclosure settlement conferences in a reverse mortgage foreclosure. There are also no 90-day notice requirements prior to the initiation of the foreclosure.

Lump Sum Reverse Mortgage Payments

Many seniors take lump sum payments immediately upon getting their reverse mortgage. Then they spend all of the money. However, reverse mortgages offer another option for seniors.

Reverse Mortgages also allow seniors to receive steady payments over a period of time. This option enables seniors to pay for the homeowners’ insurance and property taxes.

This is a reasonable option for a senior to take. Reverse mortgages work properly when the seniors receive periodic payments that allows them to live with dignity and to pay the taxes and homeowners insurance on their homes.

Successful New York Foreclosure Defense: The Six Year Statute of Limitations

Successful New York Foreclosure Defense

Successful New York Foreclosure Defense Involves Arguing The Lender Violated The Six Year Statute of Limitations

A successful New York foreclosure defense involves arguing the lender violated New York’s six-year statute of limitations. The six-year statute of limitations begins when the lender accelerates the mortgage not when the lender brings a foreclosure action.

Acceleration of the Mortgage means the lender is calling the mortgage due in full. This is usually because of the homeowner is in default. Consequently, the lender then must provide a notice to the homeowners in writing. 

The lender is required to provide the homeowner with a 90-day notice they are accelerating the mortgage. The lender must send a letter outside of 90-days of initiating a foreclosure lawsuit. Failure of the lender to provide the homeowner with the 90-day notice gives the homeowner a legal defense to stop the foreclosure lawsuit.

A Successful New York Foreclosure Defense Also Involves Not Restarting The Six Year Statute Of Limitations

The 6-year statute of limitations restarts if the homeowner makes any type of payment on a mortgage. This includes any payments on any mortgage modification. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing that acknowledges the mortgage debt will also restart the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations is the nuclear missile in any New York Foreclosure Defense case. Therefore, the homeowner should be very careful to avoid taking any actions that will restart the statute of limitation clock.

You should contact a qualified foreclosure defense attorney if you feel you have never received your Notice of Acceleration letter.


New York Fraud Alert – America’s Wholesale Lender

America's Wholesale Lender

The “America’s Wholesale Lender” Fraud No One Is Talking About In New York

There is a good chance your mortgage and note claim America’s Wholesale Lender is your lender if you received a Countrywide mortgage through a broker during the housing boom. Countrywide began using the name in the late 1990s to determine which loans were originated on the wholesale market. 

Countrywide Financial claimed America’s Wholesale Lender was a DBA of Countrywide Home Loans. 

Any mortgage or Deed of Trust issued by Countrywide Home Loans that names America’s Wholesale Lender as the “Lender”, is usually followed by “Lender is a Corporation organized and existing under the laws of New York” 

It usually looks something like this:

america's wholesale lender

Bank Of America Faces Serious Issues

These mortgages create two major nightmares for Bank of America or entity Countrywide or BofA sold the loan to. First of all, it shows Countrywide misled homeowners as to who their lender was right out of the gate. Second, America’s Wholesale Lender was not and never was a New York Corporation.

Countrywide trademarked the name (Reg. #1872784) but never incorporated America’s Wholesale Lender as a corporation in New York. The now defunct lender also failed to file DBA papers in Manhattan. 

An America’s Wholesale Lender incorporated in New York in 2008. However, it has no connection with Countrywide or Bank of America. 

As a result, this also creates a huge liability for MERS. In addition to the people that MERS authorized to sign on their behalf. MERS can only act as a nominee for its members. It can only assign the mortgagee rights for its members. Furthermore, MERS had to know America’s Wholesale Lender was NOT and NEVER was a MERS member. MERS and it signatories should have known that America’s Wholesale Lender was NOT and NEVER was a New York corporation.  

MERS and the hundreds of people who have signed as MERS executives could find themselves facing fraud lawsuits and MBS Trusts and Bank of America would then be left holding unenforceable mortgages.

The Fake America’s Wholesale Lender LLC

A couple of scam artists incorporated a fake America’s Wholesale Lender in New York in 2008 after BofA acquired Countrywide Financial. Their goal was to score some free properties from the chaos of the financial crisis. 

America's Wholesale Lender -NY Filing

This entity has no connection to Countrywide or Bank of America. A guy named Dennis L. Bell and a group of real estate fraudsters filed this fake LLC with the state of New York. They hoped to cash in on the chaos of the foreclosure crisis. Their goal was to create bogus mortgage assignments and loan satisfactions to score free houses.

Bank of America sued Bell in 2012 after the bank discovered title fraud going on in California. BofA also alleged Bell had an extensive criminal record in Missouri. They also allege Bell had a long history of committing mortgage fraud. The bank also claims Bell teamed up with Jan Van Eck and Cheri B. English to record fraudulent reconveyances in California.

These reconveyances falsely released liens on California properties with mortgages originated by Countrywide Home Loans. In addition to filing fake lien satisfactions, the three fraudsters also filed bogus judgments in California state courts. These judgments also purport to modify or cancel mortgages on California properties with Countrywide mortgages.

Bell admitted to the America’s Wholesale Lender scheme as a result of a lawsuit he filed against Van Eck. He sued Van Eck ironically for fraud in Federal Court in Connecticut. (America’s Wholesale Lender, Inc. v. Van Eck, Civil No. 11-cv-1493 (CFD) (TPS)). In the lawsuit and under oath, Bell admitted to the scheme.

You can read Bank of America’s lawsuit America’s Wholesale Lender below:

BofA AWLinc Lawsuit

You need to contact a qualified New York mortgage or foreclosure attorney immediately if you have a mortgage with America’s Wholesale Lender named as the Lender,

Explaining Foreclosure To Kids Isn’t Damaging

explaining foreclosure

Explaining Foreclosure To Kids Isn’t Damaging To Their Psyche But Shocking Them On Moving Day Can Be

Explaining foreclosure to kids is usually the last thing most parents do while facing foreclosure. Facing foreclosure is emotionally tough for adults. It makes them feel weak. It also makes them feel like failures as parents. 

So they don’t tell their kids until moving day or until the sheriff comes to kick everyone out.

Most parents think it will be as rough on the kids as it is on them. That’s not necessarily true. Believe or not, kids usually know something is up. A stressed out mom and dad fighting all the time is usually a sign. They also handle it better than most adults.

So it’s best to just come clean and tell them that they will be moving soon. You don’t need to tell them everything but letting them know will make the move easier. Jayne Pearl, author of Kids and Money Guide to Resilient Children: Teaching Kids to Thrive in Any Economic Environment writes:

You don’t want the stress monster to start walking the halls of your home while you’re still there because children will conjure up scary scenarios about what could be wrong.

Read more at MFI-Miami

CFPB fines MasterCard and Hip-Hop Mogul Russell Simmons



The CFPB announced it has fined the payment companies MasterCard and Russell Simmons owned UniRush $10 million

The CFPB announced it has fined the payment companies MasterCard and UniRush. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claims UniRush system had breakdowns on reloadable prepaid RushCards that left customers unable to access their money.

Customers began having problems in October of 2015 problems when UniRush started to use MasterCard as its new payment processor.

RushCard customers use their cards to receive a direct deposit from an employer or for government benefits. Prepaid cards, such as RushCard, are popular among consumers who don’t use traditional banking services.

Tens of thousands of consumers were affected because of “preventable failures” during that switch according to the CFPB. Nearly 830 RushCard customers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Lauren Saunders, the associate director of the nonprofit National Consumer Law Center told MarketWatch:

“The RushCard fiasco stopped people from accessing their money to buy food and pay rent,” 

RushCard and MasterCard will pay $10 million in restitution to customers because of these problems. The amount customers will receive varies on the type of problems they had with their cards.

Those who had their paycheck deposits delayed will receive $100 and those who had their paycheck deposits wrongfully returned to their employer will receive $250. The two payment companies also have to pay a $3 million fine to the CFPB.


What Trump Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin Isn’t Saying

Steve Mnuchin

Steve Mnuchin

Trump Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin Neglected To Tell Congress About The Sweetheart Deal He Got To Buy IndyMac

President Trump’s Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin is facing tough questions about his leading a posse of billionaires to buy IndyMac Bank. Mnuchin led a group of investors that included Michael Dell and George Soros to purchase the beleaguered lender from the FDIC in 2009.

The FDIC had seized in IndyMac in July of 2008. It then sold the bank to the Mnuchin led group in March of 2009 for $1.6 Billion. The group known as OneWest Bank was the only bidder at the FDIC auction. In addition, OneWest also negotiated a sweetheart deal with the FDIC. 

“OneWest churned out foreclosures like Trump’s Chinese factories churned out shirts and ties.”  -Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Steve Mnuchin and his billionaire pals had no incentive to modify loans because of this deal. So they didn’t. OneWest pushed homeowners into short sales and foreclosure. Mnuchin claimed at his confirmation hearing that he ran a “modification machine.”

He claims he saved nearly 100,000 homeowners from losing their homes. This number may very well be true. Yet, what he is neglecting to say in his testimony is that IndyMac either owned or serviced 500,000 to 750,000 loans. OneWest foreclosed on 36,000 homeowners in California alone from 2009 to 2011. 

OneWest showed a profit of more than $1 billion in its first year in operation according to the California Reinvestment Coalition. This is due to the 2009 deal with the FDIC. 

OneWest Aggressively Foreclosed On Homeowners

OneWest Bank did get aggressive when it came to foreclosing on properties and often refused to modify loans. 

Judge Spinner in New York penalized OneWest for their “harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive” actions in a Long Island foreclosure case.

Spinner was so incensed at the arrogance of OneWest lawyers he voided the mortgage in November of 2009.

An appellate panel ruled that that Judge Spinner had no right to void the contract. The Appellate panel ruled Spinner did not give the bank fair notice that such consequences were even on the table.

OneWest also changed the locks on a distressed Minnesota homeowner in December of 2009. Yet, this happened despite One West stating in a Nov. 25 e-mail that they were rescinding both the foreclosure.

OneWest Bank said, “You expressed concern that … you and your mother will be evicted from the property. Rest assured, that will not take place …” 

OneWest changed the locks without any court action. This bypassed acknowledged and mandated Due Process procedures on home foreclosures in Minnesota.

In addition, several judges across the U.S. have issued Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions against OneWest in foreclosure cases. OneWest failed to follow proper procedures during residential foreclosures. 

Is The Party Is Over For Homeowner Rights In New York?

homeowner rights

homeowner rights

The GOP Is Planning On Stripping Away Homeowner Rights By Eliminating The CFPB

New Yorkers could lose the few remaining homeowner rights they have thanks to Donald Trump. Trump plans on giving Wall Street and the GOP what they have been salivating over for the past three years. The ability to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As a result of his victory in November, Donald Trump is now planning on giving Wall Street lobbyists the weak agency they have dreamed of. A CFPB that sides with financial predators over consumers.

Trump is considering former Congressman Randy Neugebauer to run the CFPB. Trump has not offered Neugebauer the job. Yet, the Trump Transition Team has stated no other candidates are under consideration.

Neugebauer opposed the creation of the CFPB. Neugebauer and the GOP leadership have stated repeatedly they want to eliminate the agency. As a result, Trump and the GOP see Neugebauer as the perfect man to dismantle the agency from within.

Neugebauer introduced a bill to overhaul and weaken the agency before leaving congress at the end of last year. He once labeled the agency’s effort to reign in payday lenders as a paternalistic erosion of consumer product choices.

Federal Court Ruling Gives The GOP An Opening To Dismantle The CFPB

A federal appeals court ruled last year that the agency structure is unconstitutional and order the agency be restructured. Only the Supreme Court can overturn the Appellate Court and that is unlikely. Hence, Trump will be able to remove the Obama-appointed Richard Cordray at any time for any reason.

The CFPB is funded as part of the Federal Reserve system. This prevents congress from cutting the CFPB budget through the congressional appropriations process. Hence, the only way to weaken the agency is by appointing a pro-Wall Street director.

The CFPB has returned $12 billion to 27 million people caught up in various scams under Cordray’s leadership. the agency also passed pro-consumer rules regarding mortgage disclosures and homeowners rights. The agency was a key player in exposing the large-scale checking and credit card fraud at Wells Fargo.

The CFPB Is The Last Best Hope For Homeowner Rights

The CFPB has become the only refuge for victims of mortgage fraud. The federal government’s HAMP program ended at Midnight on January 1st. HAMP was launched in 2009 to help homeowners who fell victim to the financial crisis. 

In addition, HAMP gave a blueprint for lenders and servicers to give loan modifications to homeowners. The program also came with incentives for servicers and investors to modify loans for struggling homeowners.

The U.S. Treasury sponsored program also assisted nearly 50% of its applicants in keep their homes.

The days of lengthy court battles are also coming to end as well. Therefore, the days of New Yorkers being able to live in their home for free for 3-5 years is over. Something Wall Street and the incoming Trump administration has made that abundantly clear. 

Finch Rating Agency has also stated, “Modification decision timelines will shorten, which may lead to a reduction in liquidation timelines.”

New York Homeowners will be forced to fight their lenders to stay in their home. 

First-Time Foreclosures In Queens Rocket To 8 Year High

First-Time Foreclosures


First-Time Foreclosures In Queens Rocket To The Highest Level Since 2008

First-time foreclosures in Queens have hit an 8 year high and equal 45% of the foreclosures in New York City. The city had 2,202 foreclosed homes in 2016 with 933 of the Queens according to PropertyShark.

First-time foreclosures in the five boroughs have also spiked by 141 percent in the past five years since 2011. Yet, the number of foreclosures are still far from the highs reached in 2008 and 2009.

Queens recorded 804 first-time foreclosures in 2015. The borough recorded 933 in 2016.

The hotspots for foreclosures appears to be in ZIP code 11434. This Zip code covers Jamaica, Hollis, and St. Albans. The neighborhood posted 84 foreclosures last year. This is the highest number of new foreclosures in one neighborhood throughout all five boroughs.

The foreclosure numbers in Queens appear high. Yet, the borough did not register the highest year-over-year increase in the city. Brooklyn saw a 20% increase in foreclosures with 365 new cases.

The number of first-time foreclosure filings appears to be on the increase. Yet, pre-foreclosure filings have decreased an average of 7% since 2012. 

Homeowners in foreclosure could find the only option to keep their home is by fighting the foreclosure. Lenders are making it harder to get loan modifications now that HAMP is no longer around. 

Finch Rating Agency has also stated, “Modification decision timelines will shorten, which may lead to a reduction in liquidation timelines.”

New York Homeowners will be forced to fight their lenders to stay in their home. 


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