Helene Weinstein

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein has sponsored The Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012, which would increase the penalties for deceitful practices relating to home foreclosures if passed.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman introduced this bill in the New York State Legislature on Friday. This bill includes the introduction of criminal penalties and jail time to those who knowingly participate in fraudulent business practices concerning foreclosures. Managers of residential mortgage businesses who are aware of fraudulent foreclosure practices performed by their employees will also suffer these consequences.

“For many middle class New Yorkers, their life savings is in their home,” Schneiderman said to PostStarNews. “To take away people’s homes under fraudulent circumstances is a crime deserving of jail time.”

Foreclosure fraud has become rampant in New York, and therefore, the politicians have decided to take action. Among these fraudulent practices is “robo-signing.” Robo-signing refers to when one working at a bank signs thousands of documents and affidavits without confirming the information contained in the documents as valid and true.

Schneiderman and Weinstein feel that increasing the penalties for these practices will save many from suffering the shock of unfair foreclosure. It will also guarantee that those responsible for these crimes will suffer the appropriate consequences, for accountability, they feel, is the best way to stop these practices.

PostStarNews has provided detail regarding the particulars of this bill:

The Bill makes it a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, for an employee or agent of  a residential mortgage business to knowingly authorize, prepare, execute or offer for filing false documents in a pending or prospective residential foreclosure action. The bill makes it a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in state prison, for such employees to engage in multiple acts of foreclosure fraud (“robosigning”), and also makes it a class E felony for a “high managerial agent” of a residential mortgage business to “recklessly tolerate” such fraudulent conduct by his or her agents or employees.

“Moving forward, fraud will no longer be tolerated in New York,” Assemblywoman Weinstein told PostStarNews. “This bill sends that message loud and clear:  if you break the law to take someone’s home, you will go to jail.”

This bill has just been introduced in the state legislature. Lawmakers are still awaiting word on whether or not this bill will get passed and become a law in the State of New York.

 

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