Judge Arthur Schack of Kings County dismisses without prejudice a foreclosure action commenced by CitiMortgage, Inc. against Angela Nunez. CitiMortgage’s counsel agreed to file an affirmation now required by the Chief Administrative Judge for foreclosure cases pursuant to the October 20, 2010 Administrative Order. After giving CitiMortgage a brief adjournment to obtain the requisite affirmation, Judge Schack ordered a dismissal of the case and commented, “The Court does not work for CITI and cannot wait for CITI, a multi-billion dollar financial behemoth to get its “act” together.” Judge Schack rejected CITI’s request for more time to comply, stating that “Continuing the instant action without moving for a judgment of foreclosure and sale is the judicial equivalent of a ‘timeout,’ and granting a ‘timeout’ to plaintiff CITI is a waste of judicial resources. Therefore, the instant action is dismissed without prejudice.”
Judge Schack quotes Chief Judge Lippman in the conclusion of his decision which explains the policy underlying for the new OCA Order:
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.
There are reports that the new OCA Order has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the volume of foreclosure actions commenced in the NYC Metro area. The New York Law Journal reports that foreclosure filings dropped from about 800 in the week the OCA Order was announced to about 100 in the second week of December. The drop off is particularly sharp in counties that had high foreclosure volumes, including Suffolk County (from 274 to 6) and Brooklyn (from 53 to 2). Queens County filings were nearly cut in half -- from 88 to 48 -- but that 48 means Queens accounted for nearly half the filings in the week.