A recent article reports on a new law signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo which is meant to assist defendants in foreclosure actions. This article will explain the law, as well as its possible impact on both plaintiffs and defendants in foreclosure lawsuits.
The law amended Article 13 of the New York Real Property Actions and Proceeding Law to allow a defendant to raise the issue of “standing” at any time in the legal proceedings. A non-attorney may first ask what is the issue of standing and how this change in the law benefits a party being foreclosed. Standing is a legal defense relating to the plaintiff’s basic right to bring a foreclosure action (or any other type of action). In order to commence a foreclosure lawsuit, the lender (usually a bank or loan servicer) must show that it is a corporation licensed to do business in New York State, and also it is the holder of the note and mortgage which is the subject matter of the lawsuit.
Failure to meet these requirements may result in the lawsuit being dismissed due to a lack of standing. Because many loans are transferred between different lenders and loan servicers on a frequent basis, it is entirely possible that the party bringing the foreclosure action may not have “standing” as the loan may have been sold to another entity prior to the case being filed. In that case, the plaintiff may lack standing, and the action may be dismissed.