The Real Deal New York

BK court moves to dismiss thousands of foreclosure cases

Lawyers say homeowners will be negatively affected by the action
May 09, 2017 11:20AM

Kings County Supreme Court building and Letitia James (Credit: Getty Images)

The Kings County Supreme Court will toss out thousands of foreclosure cases, a move Public Advocate Letitia James says is a violation to due process.

All cases filed before Jan. 1, 2016 that have have been inactive since Sept. 30, 2016 will be thrown out, DNAinfo reported. The court published the notice in the New York Law Journal on April 27, giving parties until May 1 to Notify The Court if they wanted to keep the cases open. According to the Office of Court Administration, around 6,500 cases will be dismissed, including 1,600 foreclosure cases.

Defense lawyers told the publication the decision will have a major impact on homeowners, because any motions they filed against lenders will be lost. While lenders may have delayed proceedings, once a case is dismissed without fault to either party the lender will be able to refile the case with a fresh start. Lawyers are also concerned that many of the people representing themselves would not have seen the notice in the Journal.

Legal Aid lawyers will head to the court Tuesday on behalf of homeowners who’ve been affected by the decision. James has written to the Office of Court Administration, asking that it stop the dismissal action.

“I am extremely troubled by Kings County Supreme Court’s tactless plan to dismiss these civil action cases,” she said, according to DNAinfo. “In an effort to eliminate backlog the court is in fact undermining due process to some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers who rely on the courts to secure justice.”

Approximately 325,000 homes in the U.S. were in foreclosure as of November 2016, a 30 percent decline compared to November 2015. [DNAinfo]Miriam Hall