Congratulations to Hon. Thomas R. Davis, Hon. James L. Hyer, Hon. Christie L. D’Alessio, and Hon. Thomas Quinones.
Wendy Marie Weathers humbly participated in yesterday’s Ninth Judicial District Supreme Court Induction Ceremony presided by the Honorable Administrative Law Judge of the Ninth JD, Hon. Anne E. Minihan, A.J.S.C.. As the Immediate Past President of the Westchester County Bar Association, Wendy Marie Weathers to be invited to say a few words at the Ninth Judicial District Supreme Court Induction Ceremony along side her colleagues, Sharon Matthie, the Immediate Past President of the Westchester Black Bar Association, and Sherry Levin-Wallach, the President-elect of the New York Bar Association.
United States Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. stated, “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” We are inspired and encouraged to appear before you and witness your administration of justice with the core principles of the judiciary in mind – independence, impartiality, integrity, fairness, equality, competence, and diligence. Congratulations!
New York Governor Hochul recently signed into law Senate Bill S153 also known as the Consumer Credit Fairness Act. The Act amends the provisions of New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, also known as the CPLR, that significantly impacts debt collection lawsuits filed by creditors and third-party debt collectors.
The key changes made by the Consumer Credit Fairness Act include the following:
By reducing the statute of limitations for debt collection lawsuits from six years to three years, the Consumer Credit Fairness Act will significantly reduce the amount of debt involved in a lawsuit. Furthermore, the Consumer Credit Fairness Act will provide more transparency to what debt collectors are attempting to do once a lawsuit is filed how much debt collectors are allowed to take legal action for. By doing so, the Consumer Credit Fairness Act will target borderline exploitative debt collectors that attempt to circumvent the law. As stated by New York State Senator Kevin Thomas, “Abusive and exploitative debt collection lawsuits have become an epidemic across New York State. The consequences of these lawsuits—which often prey on the elderly, disabled, and low- and moderate-income New Yorkers—are devastating, especially at a time when New Yorkers are already suffering financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. The Consumer Credit Fairness Act will stop these abusive and often illegal debt collection practices in their tracks.”
Apart from the reduction of the statute of limitations from six years to three years and the prohibition on revival or extension of the statute of limitations period which becomes effective on April 6, 2022, the other changes described above become effective on May 6, 2022.
These changes along with the changes made by the New York Fair Consumer Judgment Interest Act, make it more important than ever to speak with an attorney that is experienced with consumer debt defense. Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC is an experienced Consumer Debt Defense law firm in New York . We negotiate with debt collection law firms and remove holds on your bank accounts or wages garnishments.
The New York State Legislature is currently reviewing Bill S5473D that relates to the rights of parties involved in foreclosure actions and provides additional details regarding the commencement and termination of certain actions related to real property. The title of this Bill is the Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act.
The Purpose and Intent of the Bill is to address the ongoing problem with abuses of the judicial foreclosure process in New York and lenders’ attempts to manipulate statutes of limitations, which problem has been worsened by recent court decisions which, contrary to the intent of the legislature, have given mortgage lenders and loan servicers opportunities to avoid strict compliance with remedial statutes and manipulate statutes of limitation to their advantage.
Specifically, there is a recent decision of the Appellate Division in Citi Mortgage, Inc. v. Ramirez, 192 AD3d 70 (2020), which effectively gives mortgagees a second bite of the mortgage apple, permitting actions to be instituted on a note after a foreclosure action based on the same debt has already been adjudicated to be barred by the statute of limitations.
Furthermore, the bill seeks to amend CPLR Sec. 3217 as it concerns the discontinuance of mortgage foreclosure actions and is a direct response to the Court of Appeals recent holding Freedom Mtge. Corp. v Enge1, 37 NY3d 1 (2021).
New York law has a six-year statute of limitations concerning contracts. See NY CPLR § 213. Because a mortgage is a contract, this limit applies to mortgage foreclosure as well, with each payment becoming its own cause of action, time-barred six years after its due date.
As a direct result of these judicial decisions, thousands of New York homeowners who secured closure of their cases by operation of longstanding statute of limitations principles are at risk of an onslaught of successive foreclosure actions that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations under longstanding statutory and case law. This will cause the loss of countless homes and will burden the Courts with cases that should be barred by the statute of limitations and with excessive motion practice now that the foreclosure moratoriums have ended. This bill levels the fields for all homeowners and ensures the statute of limitation applies to all parties equally without exemption
There are several defenses to foreclosure. Most of the defenses are related to the lender making a mistake. Some examples of foreclosure defenses are lender’s noncompliance to RPAPL Article 13, lack of standing, improper affidavits and statute of limitations.
The legislature is seeking to apply this bill to all actions governed by CPLR 213 (4) in which a final judgment of foreclosure and sale has not yet been enforced.
Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC are proven foreclosure defense attorneys and we continue to monitor this ever-changing foreclosure landscape in New York for our clients. For additional questions regarding the implications of these decisions and the most current foreclosure laws, we invite you to contact Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC by calling 914-472-6202. We look forward to hearing from you.
The hardship stays provided under New York’s COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 (CEEFPA) officially ended on January 15, 2022.
The CEEFPA was the legislature’s response to protect New Yorkers affected by a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from the threat of immediate foreclosure or eviction. The CEEFPA provided a mandatory stay of any foreclosure or eviction proceeding in which a borrower or homeowner filed a hardship declaration with the court.
The CEEFPA protections initially took effect on December 28, 2020, were extended by Governor Cuomo in May 2021, and were further extended by the legislature in September 2021. Despite calls for an extension of the hardship stays and protests by housing groups in Albany, the last extension expired on January 15, 2022.
In response to the expiration of the hardship stay, New York’s Office of Court Administration (OCA) issued a memorandum to judges and non-judicial staff along with Administrative Order 35/22 on Monday. For the first time in almost twenty-two months since the pandemic began, the OCA stated that residential and commercial mortgage foreclosure proceedings can now “resume in the normal course.”
The courts can now begin processing all active foreclosure matters. This includes:
Since many foreclosure matters have been stayed or stagnant since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, banks will be moving swiftly to get the cases back on the calendar.
If you receive any notices in the mail from the courts or from the banks, it is not too late to know your options. Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC help borrowers facing financial difficulties save their homes and protect them from lender abuses. We understand the complex problems and issues faced by homeowners in mortgage default.
Clair Gjersten & Weathers PLLC has over 30 years of experience in foreclosure defense. For additional questions regarding the foreclosure defense process, we invite you to contact Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC by calling 914-472-6202. We look forward to hearing from you.
In response to the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, New York Governor Hochul signed into law Senate Bill S5724A also known as the New York Fair Consumer Judgment Interest Act. The Act amends the provisions of New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, also known as the CPLR, to reduce the amount of interest on judgments involving consumer debts against natural persons from 9% to 2%. The goal of the Act is to reduce hardships on individuals caused by the statutory judgment interest rate that has only intensified during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Consumer Debt is defined in the New York Fair Consumer Judgment Interest Act as “any obligation or alleged obligation of any natural person to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family or household purposes.” Examples of these types of obligations would be:
Interest is allowed on almost all judgments entered in New York State Courts from the date of judgment until it is paid in full and satisfied. As such, when a consumer debt creditor wins a lawsuit against a debtor, the New York State Legislature authorized the creditor to collect additional interest on the judgment itself to compensate creditors for the cost of any delay in repayment by the debtor.
Even though the date that this New York Fair Consumer Judgment Interest Act becomes effective is April 30, 2022, the Act applies retroactively to consumer debt judgments entered before April 30, 2022, as long as the judgments themselves are not yet fully paid and satisfied.
The New York Fair Consumer Judgment Interest Act will reduce mounting debt for countless individuals as they continue to try to pull themselves out of the economic turmoil that was caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Having a reduction in statutory judgment interest will allow individuals to pay off their outstanding debt quicker and move on to the next chapter of their lives.
Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC are experienced consumer debt defense attorneys. We negotiate with debt collection law firms and remove holds on your bank accounts or garnishments on your wages. For additional questions regarding the consumer debt defense process, we invite you to contact Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC by calling 914-472-6202. We look forward to hearing from you.
Wendy Marie Weathers was featured in the December 2021 / January 2022 issue of the WWBA news.
Wendy has been an active member of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association since 2010.
In the featured interview, Wendy discusses her activities and positions held within the WWBA, her legal career, how the pandemic has made the association’s role even more important, advice she has for up-and-coming lawyers, and much more.