27 Oct 2022

Public Hearing: To examine the practice of deed theft in New York State

Senate Hearing Room

Senate Hearing Room, 19th Fl 250 Broadway, 19th Fl, New York , NY, 10007

10:00 AM Archived Video

Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction & Community
Senator Brian Kavanagh
Public Hearing: To examine the practice of deed theft in New York State
Place: Senate Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Contact: Anthony Macerola (212) 298-5565
Media Contact: Stanley Davis (646) 838-2949

SUBJECT:             Deed Theft

PURPOSE:           To receive testimony regarding the practice of deed theft, its enforcement across the state, and any legislation needed to protect vulnerable homeowners

Deed theft, or stealing the title of a house, also known as title fraud, is a predatory practice targeting rapidly gentrifying communities, especially communities of color. The City of New York received around 3,000 complaints about deed theft between 2014 and 2019, 45% of which came from Brooklyn. Often the practice involves forging a homeowner’s signature on documents without their knowledge or tricking them into signing over their property under false claims of financial relief.

Despite the important work of the Office of the Attorney General to raise awareness of this criminal activity, current law does not adequately protect homeowners who are caught up in the web of scammers looking to steal their homes.

 Through this hearing, the Committee will receive firsthand public testimony from victims of deed theft or title fraud, government entities tasked with deed theft enforcement, and community and legal service organizations that are on the ground protecting New Yorkers.

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