Originally published in Black Star News

A Rally to demand that Governor Hochul sign the Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) was held Thursday at 633 3rd Avenue, Manhattan, New York City outside Governor Kathy Hochul’s Office by numerous elected officials, public interest leaders and concerned New Yorkers.

Governor Hochul has still not signed the Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA)(S.5473-D/Sanders Same as A.7737-B/Weinstein), a bill to provide fairness in the foreclosure process, particularly for communities of color that are the most vulnerable. 

Attending the event were New York State Senators James Sanders Jr., Jessica Ramos, and Julia Salazar as well as housing advocates, faith-based leaders, civil rights leaders, legal aid organizations, foreclosure victims, and elected officials. 

Prior to this event, numerous letters were signed from stakeholders such as the New York State NAACP, the National Urban League, Hispanic Federation, and Community Voices Heard (CVH). This is in addition to all 51 legislators of the New York City Council, and members of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus. These stakeholders are amongst many other voices who have lent their support to this issue. 

At a time of rising foreclosures that disproportionately impact communities of color and lower income homeowners, it is vitally important to have fairness and consumer protections for homeowners as part of the foreclosure process. This bill passed by overwhelming votes in the New York State Senate and Assembly and has the strong support of dozens of organizations.

FAPA restores a common-sense principle that no party may unilaterally stop and restart the statute of limitations to revive what would otherwise be a time-barred action. This bill corrects recent judicial decisions that have undermined longstanding legal precedents that excuse financial institutions from established statutes of limitations principles’ application to residential foreclosure cases.

Homeowners in New York are losing their homes to what would otherwise be time-barred foreclosure actions. The FAPA should be signed into law immediately by Governor Hochul.

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (District 10), the Chair of the Senate Banks Committee and the chief sponsor of the bill, said “For most people, the most valuable asset they have is their home and it’s where they live. Homeowners require fairness and justice during the foreclosure process. The current process tips the scales of justice against the homeowner. At a time when foreclosures are expected to rise in my district and throughout New York, we must redress this untenable situation by the Governor immediately signing this bill.”

State Senator Jessica Ramos (District 13), Chair of the Senate Labor Committee, said "It is critically important for the Governor to protect working families and keep people in their homes. We are entering an economic downturn, and it is hard as it is to even be able to save to become a homeowner. There is an urgent need for families to have fairness in the foreclosure process. We implore the Governor to sign FAPA before the clock runs out."

State Senator Julia Salazar (District 18), Chair of the Senate Crime and Correction Committee, said, "We worked diligently during session to pass the Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act to address a tangible need from our constituents. It is critical for Governor Hochul to sign this legislation while there is still time. We must protect working families from being displaced."