NEW YORK – The New York State court system has instituted a new filing requirement in residential foreclosure cases to protect the integrity of the foreclosure process and prevent wrongful foreclosures. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced that plaintiff's counsel in foreclosure actions will be required to file an affirmation certifying that counsel has taken reasonable steps – including inquiry to banks and lenders and careful review of the papers filed in the case – to verify the accuracy of documents filed in support of residential foreclosures. The new filing requirement was introduced by the Chief Judge in response to recent disclosures by major mortgage lenders of significant insufficiencies – including widespread deficiencies in notarization and "robosigning" of supporting documents – in residential foreclosure filings in courts nationwide. The new requirement is effective immediately and was created with the approval of the Presiding Justices of all four Judicial Departments.
Chief Judge Lippman said, “We cannot allow the courts in New York State to stand by idly and be party to what we now know is a deeply flawed process, especially when that process involves basic human needs – such as a family home – during this period of economic crisis. This new filing requirement will play a vital role in ensuring that the documents judges rely on will be thoroughly examined, accurate, and error-free before any judge is asked to take the drastic step of foreclosure.”
Under the new requirement, plaintiff’s counsel in foreclosure matters must submit the affirmation at one of several stages. In new cases, the affirmation must accompany the Request for Judicial Intervention. In pending cases, the affirmation must be submitted with either the proposed order of reference or the proposed judgment of foreclosure. In cases where a foreclosure judgment has been entered but the property has not yet been sold at auction, the affirmation must be submitted to the court referee, and a copy filed with the court, five business days before the scheduled auction. Counsel is also obligated to file an amended version of the affidavit if new facts emerge after the initial filing.
View the affirmation form.