Foreclosure Settlement Conferences

On May 7, 2012, in Foreclosure, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Foreclosure Settlement Conferences

What you should know about Foreclosure Settlement Conferences!

Residential foreclosure defendants in New York are entitled to a preliminary foreclosure settlement conference that may enable a speedier and less expensive way of resolving their foreclosure issue than would otherwise be possible. The law requiring the conference – New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section 3408 – is beneficial for foreclosure defendants in a number of ways.

  • First, foreclosure settlement conferences are typically less expensive than trial. Thus a foreclosure settlement conference requirement alone is beneficial. But section 3408 does not simply require a conference – it also requires that parties engage in good-faith negotiation for the purpose of “determining whether the parties can reach a mutually agreeable resolution to help the defendant avoid losing his or her home.” Further, the law requires that parties periodically update the court about the negotiation, allowing courts to evaluate whether negotiations are made in good faith. It is rare that legislation requires parties to make good-faith efforts to reach a resolution that is favorable to the defendant, and foreclosure defendants should take advantage of this requirement.
  • Additionally, the law requires that the settlement conference occur within sixty days of the day proof of service is filed with the court, unless the parties agree to conference on another date. This allows foreclosure defendants to enter negotiations quickly, avoiding long periods of uncertainty that would certainly add stress to an already stressful situation.
  • The law also requires parties to bring certain documents to the conference, gives the court an opportunity to require additional documents, and forbids either party from charging the other for legal expenses associated with the conference. Foreclosure defendants may be able to use the conference period to find out information about their case that may otherwise only be obtained through a potentially expensive discovery process.

Foreclosure Attorneys in Nassau County

Of course, foreclosure defendants may appear at the conference with counsel, which may help them take full advantage of the procedure. The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC routinely represents clients through all phases of a foreclosure action. If you are facing a foreclosure, and would like to speak with an attorney about a settlement conference, or any other step in the foreclosure process, feel free to call (516) 858-2620 today.

*Contributions to the research and preparation of this blog were made by Jason Mays, J.D. (awaiting admission in NYS).

Major Banks Halting Foreclosures in NY?

On October 2, 2010, in Foreclosure, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Are foreclosures being halted in NY?

Foreclosure defense is a large part of our law practice. We are currently defending foreclosures brought by GMAC, Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo etc.  For the most part, we have not seen much evidence of these lenders suspending current foreclosure actions. They are still opposing our motions, replying to our answers, and having counsel attend the Mandatory Foreclosure Settlement Conferences on their behalf.

However, we have had several recent loan modification offers, requests for adjournments, and at least one major lender is attempting to discontinue their foreclosure action against one our clients. We were able to achieve the foregoing results by raising and vigorously litigating the “faulty/fraudulent paperwork” that is a part of many foreclosure actions.

So, we know what the headlines say, but we have YET to receive any calls from any lenders or their attorneys saying “Hey, we are discontinuing all of our foreclosures in NY.” We look forward to that day, but until then, we will keep raising the issues and fighting for our clients.

As always, The Foreclosure Defense Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you.  We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY 11501. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with a foreclosure defense lawyer.

Please visit our Foreclosure category to learn more about foreclosure issues.

Foreclosure Settlement Conference

On August 28, 2010, in Foreclosure, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Foreclosure Settlement Conference

Purpose of the Foreclosure Settlement Conference

According to New York law (RPAPL 3408), the purpose of the foreclosure settlement conference includes, but is not limited to, “…determining whether the parties can reach a mutually agreeable resolution to help the defendant avoid losing his or her home, and evaluating the potential for a resolution in which payment schedules or amounts may be modified or other workout options may be agreed to, and for whatever other purposes the court deems appropriate.”

At the foreclosure settlement conference:

  • Both the plaintiff and defendant are required to negotiate in good faith to reach a mutually agreeable resolution, including a loan modification, if possible.
  • The defendant will be required to provide the lender or it’s servicer with financial documentation.
  • The plaintiff will be required to review the documentation to determine if the parties can reach a resolution to avoid foreclosure.
  • On each conference date, there will likely be several dates, each party must report the status of negotiations to the Judge and explain any issues that have arisen.
  • If a settlement agreement or loan modification is achieved, the plaintiff must file a notice of discontinuance and vacatur of the lis pendens within one hundred fifty (150) days after the agreement is fully executed.

IMPORTANT: The scheduling of a foreclosure settlement conference does not relieve you of your obligation to respond to the plaintiff’s summons and complaint in a timely manner (see our earlier post “Foreclosure Summons and Complaint“).

The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC routinely represents homeowners facing foreclosure at settlement conferences.  Typically, we obtain and/or attend foreclosure settlement conferences as part of our defense to the foreclosure action brought against our client.  However, we will represent homeowners at just the foreclosure settlement conference.

As always, the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to assist you.  Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with a foreclosure defense lawyer.

Please visit our Foreclosure category to learn more about foreclosure issues.

New York Foreclosure Law

On April 23, 2010, in Foreclosure, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

New York Foreclosure Law

New York Foreclosure Law

In 2009, Governor Paterson signed foreclosure legislation aimed at protecting homeowners and tenants.

Protection For Homeowners:

NY foreclosure law now requires that a 90-day pre-foreclosure notice be sent to all homeowners facing foreclosure. This notice is sent prior to the start of the foreclosure action and allows additional time for many homeowners to work with their lenders to prevent foreclosure. Previously, this notice was only sent to homeowners who had sub-prime loans. Caveat:  The 90-day notice period shall not apply, or shall cease to apply,  if the homeowner   does not occupy the 1-4 family dwelling as their principal residence.

This legislation also expanded the scope of the mandatory foreclosure settlement conference to include borrowers of all home loans.  The foreclosure settlement conference provides the homeowner with an opportunity to negotiate a loan modification with their lender. Previously, foreclosure settlement conferences were only available to homeowners who had sub-prime loans.

Protection For Tenants:

NY foreclosure law now requires that tenants, residing in foreclosed properties, receive written notification of the change in ownership of the property. The law also requires that the tenant be allowed to remain in  the  the foreclosed home for the remainder of their lease term or 90 days, whichever is longer.

New York Foreclosure Attorney

As always, the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to assist you.  Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with a foreclosure defense attorney.

Please visit our Foreclosure category to learn more about foreclosure issues.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. This website is Attorney Advertising. It does not form an attorney-client relationship. We are a debt relief agency and a law firm that helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code – Title 11. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Proudly assisting residents of Long Island, Nassau county, Suffolk county, New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan