When it comes to home foreclosures, New York State homeowners have many legal rights. New York is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning mortgage holders must file lawsuits to enforce their rights to recover the property. Generally, the rights below apply for purchasers of condominiums and one, two, and three-family homes in the Empire State.
What Rights Do Homeowners Have During Foreclosures?
1. Waiting Period of 120 Days
When a homeowner fails to make a payment on time, the mortgage holder has to wait 120 days before filing an action in court. New York real estate law allows homeowners this timeframe to seek ways to avoid losing their property, such as loan modifications or refinancing.
2. Notice Period of 90 Days
Before lenders can file home foreclosure complaints on owner-occupied residences, they must send owners a pre-foreclosure notice 90 days before filing. The notice explains how to cure the default and lists government-approved counseling agencies that can help. This time runs during the 120-day waiting period.
3. Right to File Answer to Foreclosure Complaint
If the mortgage holder files a foreclosure complaint, the homeowner has the right to file an answer within 20 to 30 days of receiving it. Failing to answer can mean losing the right to assert defenses, including deceptive business practices.
4. Mandatory Settlement Conferences
Within 60 days after the lender’s attorney files an affidavit of service, the court holds a mandatory settlement conference. Homeowners and lenders must negotiate in good faith to avoid foreclosure. Homeowners who did not file answers before their first conference get a second chance to file answers within 30 days after the first conference.
5. Right of Reinstatement
Any time before a court enters a judgment of foreclosure and sale, borrowers can attempt to reinstate their home loans. Reinstatement requires paying all amounts past due, plus any late fees and costs.
For more than 30 years, Robert A. Schwartz has given sound legal advice and provided effective legal representation to Rochester, NY, borrowers trying to avoid home foreclosures. If you cannot pay your mortgage, don’t struggle alone. Allow this dedicated and compassionate real estate law attorney to help you regain a solid financial footing. Learn more about his practice by visiting his website. Call (585) 351-2929 to schedule a consultation.