Foreclosure and Pre-foreclosure
Settlement Conference Procedure Nassau, Suffolk, Kings, Queens County
We help victims of foreclosure save their homes on a consistent basis. You are probably reading this because you got a letter from the court telling you to come to a foreclosure settlement conference. A foreclosure settlement conference is held before a representative of the court. It is a meeting between you, the court and your mortgage loan servicer or mortgage lender (we refer to this as “your bank”). The goal of the settlement conference is to see if your foreclosure problem can be resolved without further court involvement. Our attorneys are not only trained in handling simple foreclosure matters, we also take care of complex foreclosure litigation in the event of a foreclosure proceeding or receipt of a notice of service from a summons and complaint in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, Bronx, Westchester, Richmond County, Manhattan and Brooklyn Kings County New York.
A resolution is more likely if you prepare for your settlement conference with the right attorney.
CHRISTINE THEA RUBINSTEIN and Associates devotes a significant part of their firm to the area of foreclosure defense. They provides a wide range of real estate services representing buyers and sellers in transactions involving commercial and residential property. From initial negotiations to closing, including drafting of documents, monitoring contingency periods, and possible closing issues such as possession agreements. Get a Free Settlement Conference Consultation today with one of our foreclosure defense attorneys.
Call 1-800-488-6734 today.
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Settlement conferences for subprime, high-cost and nontraditional loans are part of a new program in the New York. The settlement conference is supposed to help these homeowners resolve their foreclosure situation.
You don’t have to agree to anything at a settlement conference that you are not comfortable. Neither does your lender. It is up to you whether you attend the conference but the settlement conference may be a good opportunity for you to work out your mortgage problems with your attorney present in front of a judge. You can make the most of this opportunity by coming prepared to present an offer to the lender before or at the beginning of your settlement conference.
What is a Settlement Conference? Who attends a settlement conference?
New York law requires the bank to have a representative available in person or by phone at the settlement conference in addition to an attorney. Someone with the authority to negotiate an agreement with you must be available during the conference. They can work with your attorney to resolve the foreclosure and get you a forbearance agreement.
A Judge, Referee or Judicial Hearing Officer leads the conference. This person’s job is to treat both sides fairly, hear both side’s stories and assist both parties in trying to resolve the case (for example, modifying the terms of the loan so the borrower can afford to pay).
If you want to win, and save your home from foreclosure; be prepared for your Settlement Conference Hearing!
Homeowners should prepare for a settlement conference with an experienced and qualified attorney. This page only covers how to prepare for a settlement conference. You may have legal claims which are not reviewed here. We strongly encourage all homeowners to seek legal advice with a qualified and experienced lawyer; in addition to using this page to prepare for the settlement conference. If you did not file an Answer to the Summons, you should get legal advice right away.
What is a Settlement Conference?
On December 1, 2008, the New York State Unified Court System began sending notices to borrowers in default who have high cost mortgages, whose mortgages were being foreclosed prior to September 1, 2008, offering voluntary settlement conferences. Borrowers with high cost mortgages whose mortgages entered or are entering into foreclosure from September 2008 on, will be required to attend a mandatory settlement conference prior to foreclosure proceedings. High cost loans are considered to have excessive fees, risk-based sub-prime percentage rates, negative amortizing payment options, and other features which may or may not be considered predatory lending practices.
The foreclosure proceedings are effectively stopped until the referee or judicial hearing officer (JHO) in the settlement conference determines that the settlement conferences are concluded, either because the parties have successfully modified the home loan or obtained some other foreclosure alternative or the referee has determined that one of the parties has not satisfied its requirements under the law. Settlement conferences do not produce formal dispositions but may facilitate loan modifications and stop foreclosure. The referee or JHO will make a recommendation to the judge overseeing the foreclosure proceedings once the settlement conference is concluded.
What Do I Need When Asking for a Loan Modification?
While every bank and case is different, you should be prepared to provide some or all of the following when requesting a home loan modification:
* Did you lose your job?
* Was there a medical emergency?
* Did you struggle to make mortgage payments right from the beginning?
* Did you get stuck with a mortgage that you couldn’t afford?
* Did you get behind when your interest rate went up?
* Were there escrow shortages or additional escrow charges?
* Did you get behind because you had to make essential repairs to your home?
* Did the bank start applying your payments to your late fees?
* Did you think the monthly payments would be lower? Why?
* Any other reasons you have? For example, not showing enough on your tax returns.
* A Hardship Letter.
What rights do you have at the mortgage loan settlement conference?
At the conference, you have the right to:
* Have an attorney assist you.
* Speak with an attorney or other advisor before reaching any decision.
* Have anything explained to you.
* Accept or reject all or part of any proposal from the bank.
* Make an offer to the bank or propose changes to the bank’s offer.
* Ask for an “adjournment,” or rescheduling, of the conference for a good reason.
* Ask to receive copies of any documents related to your case such as the payment history (to make sure the charges and amount due are correct), the loan file, and proof that the bank really owns the note (the bank can only foreclose if it owns the note and mortgage).
* Ask the bank’s attorney to explain how any amounts were calculated. This includes an explanation of each and every fee the bank claims you owe.
* Receive translation assistance at the conference and for key documents received from the court.
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Consider asking the bank to do some, or all, of the following to modify your loan:
* Lower your interest rate; Change from an adjustable rate loan (ARM) to a fixed rate loan.
* Forgive or reduce interest owed / past due.
* Waive late charges and other fees.
* Forgive or reduce the loan principal (lower the amount you owe).
* Extend the term of the mortgage (make the term longer).
You should know you have certain legal rights and must be very selective of the Lawyer or Law Firm that you chose to represent you.
Have an Attorney council you on the Right Decision for your family. Get a Free Consultation today at the law office of CHRISTINE THEA RUBINSTEIN and Associates Attorneys at Law.
Pursuant to Chapter 507 of the Laws of 2009, homeowners in danger of foreclosure are entitled to participate in court settlement conferences with their lenders, if the following criteria are met:
- The case involves residential property; and
- The property is a 1-to-4 family owner occupied dwelling or condominium
If you meet the above criteria, a Foreclosure Settlement Conference is mandatory provided the case was commenced on or after February 13, 2010. The court will schedule the conference within 60 days after you have been served with court papers.
If your case was commenced before February 13, 2010, a settlement conference is not mandatory, but you may request a conference by contacting the Clerk’s office of the court where your case is pending. Please note, however, that if your case involves a subprime, high-cost or nontraditional loan and was commenced between September 1, 2008 and February 13, 2010, a settlement conference is mandatory and you should contact the Clerk’s office of the court where your case is pending to confirm the date of the conference.
Please be aware that the court conference and/or the scheduling of a conference does not relieve you of your obligation to respond to the plaintiff’s papers in a timely manner. If you come to the conference without an attorney, you may be entitled to a court-appointed lawyer.
At the conference, the court will:
- discuss the rights and obligations of the parties.
- determine whether the parties can reach a resolution to avoid foreclosure.
- evaluate workout/settlement options such as payment schedules or loan modifications.
- design a plan to streamline subsequent court proceedings if a settlement cannot be reached.
Talk to a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Today at the Law offices of CHRISTINE THEA RUBINSTEIN and Associates
We are dedicated to your success — so contact us. Speak with one of our knowledgeable Long Island Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosure litigation attorneys today from wherever you are in New York in Nassau and Suffolk, Brooklyn, Kings and Queens Counties, on Long Island and all New York City boroughs.
Call 1-800-488-6734 today.
Get Help With Your Settlement Conference Now before it is too late. be prepared, you have only one chance of getting your Settlement Conference correctly the first time.
You should know you have certain legal rights and must be very selective of the Lawyer or Law Firm that you chose to represent you. Have an Attorney council you on the Right Decision for You.