Beep: Fast Track Qns. Foreclosures
Asks State For $ To Help Families
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall announced last Wednesday, Mar. 28 that she has asked state officials to make certain that a new plan to speed up foreclosure cases moves forward quickly to help Queens’ homeowners who have been caught up in the housing crisis.
Marshall also called for more state funding to help homeowners threatened by foreclosure to support the retention of lawyers and counselors to represent them during foreclosure procedures
“Given that Queens has been especially hard-hit by the mortgage foreclosure crisis, it is appropriate that this plan is being initiated in this borough,” Marshall said in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman. “I look forward to the court adopting these new measures to alleviate some of our troubled homeowners’ miseries.”
The new plan would expedite foreclosure cases by giving judges additional control and requiring banks to send to mortgage settlement conferences bank officials who have the power to modify loans, allowing residents to stay in their homes.
“There is nothing more traumatic than homeowners and their families losing their homes, or even facing the prospect of losing their homes,” said Marshall.
Several years ago, Queens was the state’s leading county in foreclosure filings.
Marshall said that while foreclosures have hit the borough hard, “we have unfortunately seen cases start to move at a snail’s pace and watched as huge backlogs accumulated in the courts.”
“Unnecessary postponements have made already anxious homeowners even more worried,” she added.
Additional funding is necessary to ward off the effects of a loss by legal service groups of state and federal funding. The borough president suggested that some banks and institutions might even be willing to contribute funds to the courts and/or legal assistance groups in a manner designed to avoid conflicts of interest.
Another possible source of funding, Marshall wrote, could be New York’s $136 million share of the recently negotiated $26 billion nationwide mortgage settlement with big banks.
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