In Confronting the Foreclosure Crisis, a Bill Strikes a Balance
New York Community Trust grantees, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project and New York Acorn Housing, are mentioned in this piece by Manny Fernandez for the New York Times, published Sunday, June 22, 2008.
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...“This will certainly make a difference, and this will help save homes,” said Josh Zinner, co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, a fair-lending organization that is part of a coalition of groups pressing for passage of the bill. “It’s not as broad as we would have hoped, but it certainly is a positive for New York homeowners.”
Mr. Zinner, other housing advocates and city and state lawmakers have grown increasingly alarmed about the rising number of foreclosure filings and the spread of subprime lending in New York City’s largely minority neighborhoods and in parts of upstate. ...
...The bill, among other things, requires mortgage brokers to act in the borrower’s interest by presenting loans that are most appropriate for the borrower. It also mandates that lenders make a “reasonable and good faith determination” of a subprime borrower’s ability to repay the loan, based on income, job status and other factors. Under the bill’s underwriting standards, subprime loans will be barred from carrying prepayment penalties.
“By and large, the people we see have loans that they never should have obtained in the first place,” said Ismene Speliotis, executive director of New York Acorn Housing. “Had this legislation been on the books even a few years ago, we wouldn’t be seeing many of the problems we’re seeing today.”
The bill’s consumer-protection provisions take effect within 60 days of being signed into law, and any lender or broker who is found to have violated them could face charges, fines or other penalties from the attorney general’s office or the State Banking Department. ...