Establishes the "Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act of 2014"; relates to the duty of the mortgagee or its loan servicing agent to maintain property secured by a delinquent mortgage.
TITLE OF BILL: An act establishing the "New York state abandoned property neighborhood relief act of 2014"; and to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to the duty of the mortgagee or its loan servicing agent to maintain property secured by delinquent mortgage
PURPOSE: To help community residents and municipalities throughout the State better address the growing problem of vacant and abandoned residential properties by creating a statewide registry of such properties and imposing a duty on mortgagees and their loan servicing agents to report these properties to the registry and take earlier (pre-foreclosure) action to identify, secure and maintain them.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 establishes the title of the Act as the "New York State Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act of 2014."
Section 2 amends section 1307 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law to: create a definition of "vacant and abandoned" residential real property; expand the existing duty of a mortgagee to maintain vacant residential real property to include pre-foreclosure "vacant and abandoned" residential property as defined in the bill, and to expand such duty to the mortgagee's loan servicing agent; establish a periodic inspection requirement for mortgagees and loan servicing agents to determine if residential real property subject to a delinquent mortgage is currently occupied; and make it unlawful for a mortgagee or loan servicing agent, or a person acting on their behalf, to enter residential real property that is not vacant or abandoned for the purpose of forcing, intimidating, harassing or coercing a lawful occupant thereof to vacate the property in order to render it vacant and abandoned.
Section 3 adds a new section 1307-a to the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law to: require the Attorney General to establish and maintain a statewide electronic Vacant and Abandoned Property Registry that shall be accessible to local officials across the State; require mortgagees or their agents to promptly submit to the statewide Registry information about vacant and abandoned properties, including but not limited to the current name, address and contact information for the lender or servicer responsible for maintaining the property, whether a foreclosure action has been filed, and any updated material information when it becomes available; authorize a municipality wherein vacant and abandoned residential property is located to intervene as of right in a foreclosure action involving the property for the purpose of requesting injunctive relief to ensure the property is maintained in accordance with law and that the foreclosure action is timely prosecuted; require the Attorney General to establish and maintain a toll-free hotline that community members concerned about vacant and abandoned properties can call to report such properties and to obtain information relating to such properties, including but not limited to whether a specific property is listed on the Attorney General's statewide Vacant and Abandoned Property Registry and, if so, the identity of the mortgagee or loan servicing company responsible for maintaining the property; and authorize the Attorney General, and
any affected locality upon written notice to the Attorney General, to seek injunctive relief and/or civil penalties against mortgagees and/or their agents for violations of RPAPL sections 1307 and 1307-a.
Section 4 establishes an effective date of 180 days after the act shall have become a law.
Section 1307 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law currently requires a plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure action who obtains a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale involving residential real property that is or becomes vacant to maintain the property until such time as ownership of the property has been transferred through the closing of title in foreclosure or other disposition, and the deed is duly recorded
JUSTIFICATION: Vacant and abandoned residential properties securing delinquent mortgages fall into disrepair and harm neighboring properties and the surrounding community. These properties are a blight on neighborhoods because they are often boarded up, inhabited by squatters or used for criminal purposes. When a vacant and abandoned property is not maintained for an extended period of time, there is a decline in the community's real estate market and the state's property tax base. There is also an increased likelihood of crime in and around the property. There are instances of such properties being used by criminals to manufacture and/or distribute illegal drugs. Municipalities are often forced to expend taxpayer funds to prevent a vacant and abandoned property from becoming a public hazard. If a municipality is forced to care for a significant number of vacant and abandoned properties, its budget can be depleted quickly.
Current law, enacted in 2009, imposes a duty on plaintiff-mortgagees to maintain vacant residential properties only after a Judgment o f Foreclosure and Sale has been entered. Unfortunately, this law has proven inadequate to address the growing number of vacant and abandoned properties falling into disrepair across New York State survey in one jurisdiction showed that most vacant and abandoned properties were not subject to foreclosure actions and, if they were, the cases had not proceeded to Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale. In many instances, the plaintiff-mortgagee abandoned the foreclosure effort. In others, the plaintiff-mortgagee sought to vacate its own Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale, bringing the property outside of the existing maintenance requirement imposed on the plaintiff-mortgagee by statute. There is also evidence showing that current and former New York homeowners have been misled into believing they need to leave their homes earlier in the foreclosure process than they actually have to, resulting in even more vacant and abandoned properties.
In response to this growing threat to communities across New York State, the Abandoned Property Neighbor hood Relief Act of 2014 will ensure that homeowners are provided with early notice that they are legally entitled to remain in their homes until ordered to leave by a court and will require mortgagees and their loan servicers and agents to identify, secure and maintain vacant and abandoned properties much earlier in the mortgage delinquency timeline. It will also require
that they electronically register these properties with the newly-created Vacant and Abandoned Property Registry to be established and maintained by the Attorney General. The Registry, in turn, will provide a much needed and readily available source of information on vacant and abandoned residential properties to local officials throughout the State, and will be supplemented by a toll-free hotline that community residents can use to report suspected vacant and abandoned properties to the Attorney General and receive information regarding the status of registered properties, including the identity of the mortgagee or agent responsible for maintaining them.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: It is expected that there will be costs to the Office of the Attorney General for the establishment and maintenance of the statewide Vacant and Abandoned Property Registry and the toll-free community resident hotline established by the Act.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 days.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7350--A IN SENATE May 13, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, ADDABBO, AVELLA, BRESLIN, CARLUCCI, DIAZ, DILAN, ESPAILLAT, GIPSON, HASSELL-THOMPSON, HOYLMAN, KENNEDY, LARKIN, LATIMER, MONTGOMERY, PARKER, PERALTA, PERKINS, RIVERA, SAVINO, SERRA- NO, SQUADRON, STAVISKY, TKACZYK, VALESKY -- (at request of the Attor- ney General) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT establishing the "New York state abandoned property neighborhood relief act of 2014"; and to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to the duty of the mortgagee or its loan servicing agent to maintain property secured by delinquent mortgage THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "New York state abandoned property neighborhood relief act of 2014". S 2. Section 1307 of the real property actions and proceedings law, as added by chapter 507 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 1307. Duty to maintain
[foreclosed]property SECURED BY DELINQUENT MORTGAGE. 1. [A plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure action who obtains a judgment of foreclosure and sale pursuant to section thirteen hundred fifty-one of this article, involving residential real property, as defined in section thirteen hundred five of this article, that is vacant, or becomes vacant after the issuance of such judgment, or is abandoned by the mortgagor but occupied by a tenant](A) WITH RESPECT TO A MORTGAGE LOAN SECURED BY RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY, as defined under section thirteen hundred five of this article, WHERE THE PROPERTY IS "VACANT AND ABANDONED" AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION OR A FORECLOSURE ACTION HAS BEEN COMMENCED AGAINST THE PROPERTY BECAUSE THE MORTGAGOR HAS FAILED TO MAINTAIN THE PROPERTY OR WHERE A JUDGMENT OF FORECLOSURE UNDER SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED FIFTY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN OBTAINED ON THE PROPERTY THAT HAS BEEN ABANDONED BY THE MORTGAGOR BUT REMAINS OCCUPIED BY A TENANT LAWFULLY IN POSSESSION, THE MORTGAGEE OR ITS LOAN SERVICING AGENT shall maintain such property until such timeEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13184-09-4 S. 7350--A 2
as ownership has been transferred through the closing of title in fore- closure, or other disposition, and the deed for such property has been duly recorded; provided, however, that if a municipality or governmental entity holds a mortgage
[subordinate to one or more mortgages]on the residential real property, the municipality or governmental entity shall not be subject to the requirements of this section. (B) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY SHALL BE DEEMED "VACANT AND ABANDONED" WHEN: (I) AT LEAST THREE MONTHLY PAYMENTS ARE PAST DUE ON THE MORTGAGE LOAN OR THE MORTGAGOR HAS INFORMED THE MORTGAGEE OR LOAN SERVICING COMPANY IN WRITING THAT THE MORTGAGOR DOES NOT INTEND TO OCCUPY THE PROPERTY IN THE FUTURE; AND (II) EITHER: (A) THERE IS A REASONABLE BASIS TO BELIEVE THAT THE PROPERTY IS NOT OCCUPIED WHICH SHALL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARA- GRAPH (B-1) OF THIS SUBDIVISION; OR (B) A COURT OR OTHER APPROPRIATE STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY HAS DETERMINED THAT SUCH RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY IS A RISK TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE OF THE PUBLIC OR ANY ADJOINING OR ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS, OR HAS OTHERWISE DECLARED THE PROPERTY UNFIT FOR OCCUPANCY. WHERE A MORTGAGEE OR LOAN SERVICING COMPANY HAS RECEIVED WRITTEN NOTICE FROM A MORTGAGOR THAT SUCH MORTGAGOR DOES NOT INTEND TO OCCUPY SUCH PROPERTY IN THE FUTURE, THE MORTGAGEE OR LOAN SERVICING COMPANY SHALL PROMPTLY NOTIFY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN WRITING OF ITS RECEIPT OF SUCH NOTIFICATION AND THE DATE THEREOF. (B-1) FOR PURPOSES OF PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, A REASONABLE BASIS TO BELIEVE THAT RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY IS NOT OCCUPIED SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, BE BASED UPON PERIODIC INSPECTIONS OF SUCH PROPERTY OVER A TWO-MONTH PERIOD AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE DAY WHERE THREE OR MORE SUCH INSPECTIONS REVEAL EVIDENCE OF ABANDONMENT. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDI- VISION, "EVIDENCE OF ABANDONMENT" SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS: (I) OVERGROWN OR DEAD VEGETATION; (II) ACCUMULATION OF NEWSPAPERS, CIRCULARS, FLYERS OR MAIL; (III) PAST DUE UTILITY NOTICES, DISCONNECTED UTILITIES, OR UTILITIES NOT IN USE; (IV) ACCUMULATION OF TRASH REFUSE OR OTHER DEBRIS; (V) ABSENCE OF WINDOW COVERINGS SUCH AS CURTAINS, BLINDS, OR SHUTTERS; (VI) ONE OR MORE BOARD- ED, MISSING OR BROKEN WINDOWS; (VII) THE PROPERTY IS OPEN TO CASUAL ENTRY OR TRESPASS; OR (VIII) THE PROPERTY HAS A BUILDING OR STRUCTURE THAT IS OR APPEARS STRUCTURALLY UNSOUND OR HAS ANY OTHER CONDITION THAT PRESENTS A POTENTIAL HAZARD OR DANGER TO THE SAFETY OF PERSONS. (B-2) FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING WHETHER RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY IS OCCUPIED, THE MORTGAGEE OR LOAN SERVICING COMPANY SHALL CONDUCT OR CAUSE TO BE CONDUCTED PERIODIC INSPECTIONS OF SUCH PROPERTY AT LEAST ONCE EVERY THIRTY DAYS COMMENCING NO LATER THAN SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE DATE UPON WHICH TWO MORTGAGE PAYMENTS ON SUCH PROPERTY ARE PAST DUE, OR SOON- ER IF SO REQUIRED BY FEDERAL STATUTE, RULE, REGULATION, PUBLISHED GUID- ANCE, OR OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THE FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCI- ATION, FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION OR FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY. (B-3) FOR PURPOSES OF PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY SHALL NOT BE DEEMED "VACANT AND ABANDONED" WHERE SUCH PROPERTY IS: (I) AN UNOCCUPIED BUILDING WHICH IS UNDERGOING CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION OR REHABILITATION THAT IS PROCEEDING TO COMPLETION, AND THE BUILDING IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH ALL APPLICABLE ORDI- NANCES, CODES, REGULATIONS AND STATUTES; (II) A BUILDING OCCUPIED ON A SEASONAL BASIS THAT IS OTHERWISE SECURE; (III) A BUILDING THAT IS SECURE, BUT IS THE SUBJECT OF A PROBATE ACTION, ACTION TO QUIET TITLE, OR OTHER SIMILAR OWNERSHIP DISPUTE; (IV) A BUILDING DAMAGED BY A NATURAL DISASTER AND ONE OR MORE OWNER INTENDS TO REPAIR AND REOCCUPY THE PROP-S. 7350--A 3
ERTY; OR (V) OCCUPIED BY THE MORTGAGOR, A RELATIVE OF THE MORTGAGOR OR A TENANT LAWFULLY IN POSSESSION. 2. Such
[plaintiff]MORTGAGEE AND/OR ITS LOAN SERVICING AGENT shall have the right to peaceably enter upon such property DETERMINED TO BE VACANT AND ABANDONED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, or to cause others to peaceably enter upon the property for the limited purpose of inspections, repairs and maintenance as required by this section, or as otherwise ordered by court; provided, however, that if the property is occupied by a tenant LAWFULLY IN POSSESSION, at least seven days notice must be given to such tenant, unless emergency repairs are required in which case reasonable notice shall be provided to the tenant. 2-A. (A) IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR A MORTGAGEE, ITS SERVICER OR A THIRD PARTY AGENT OR OTHER PERSON ACTING ON BEHALF OF A MORTGAGEE TO ENTER RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY THAT IS NOT VACANT AND ABANDONED FOR THE PURPOSE OF FORCING, INTIMIDATING, HARASSING OR COERCING A LAWFUL OCCU- PANT OF SUCH RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TO VACATE THAT PROPERTY IN ORDER TO RENDER THE PROPERTY VACANT AND ABANDONED, OR TO OTHERWISE FORCE, INTIM- IDATE, HARASS, OR COERCE A LAWFUL OCCUPANT OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY TO VACATE THAT PROPERTY SO THAT IT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS VACANT AND ABAN- DONED. (B) LIABILITY FOR SUCH UNLAWFUL CONDUCT SHALL EXTEND TO ANY MORTGAGEE FOR WHOSE BENEFIT THE ACTIONS WERE INITIATED, IN ADDITION TO ANY AGENT, EMPLOYEE OR SUBCONTRACTOR OF THE MORTGAGEE WHO RETAINED, HIRED OR OTHER- WISE ENLISTED THE PERPETRATOR. (C) A HOMEOWNER AND/OR OCCUPANT WHO HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO SUCH UNLAW- FUL CONDUCT MAY BRING AN ACTION FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF WHICH MAY BE RAISED AS A COUNTERCLAIM IN A FORECLOSURE OR EVICTION PROCEEDING, OR IN ANY OTHER ACTION OR PROCEEDING BROUGHT TO REGAIN POSSESSION OF, OR QUIET TITLE TO, RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY, OR MAY BE RAISED AS AN AFFIR- MATIVE ACTION IN ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. (D) PUNITIVE DAMAGES, COSTS AND/OR ATTORNEY FEES, MAY BE AWARDED WHEN THE CONDUCT COMPLAINED OF HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT WITH KNOWING DISREGARD OF THE RIGHTS OF THE OCCUPANT OR WAS PART OF A PATTERN OF CONDUCT INTENDED TO SECURE THE VACATING OF PROPERTIES SO THAT THOSE PROPERTIES WOULD BE CONSIDERED AS VACANT AND ABANDONED FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION. 3. [The]IN ADDITION TO THE AUTHORITY GRANTED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN-A OF THIS ARTICLE, THE municipality in which such residential real property is located, any tenant lawfully in possession, and a board of managers of a condominium in which the premises are located or a homeowners asso- ciation if said premises are subject to the rules and regulations of such an association, shall have the right to enforce the obligations described in this section in any court of competent jurisdiction after at least seven days notice to the [plaintiff in the foreclosure action]MORTGAGEE OR ITS LOAN SERVICING AGENT unless emergency repairs are required. Any entity acting pursuant to this subdivision shall have a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction against the [plaintiff in the foreclosure action]MORTGAGEE OR ITS LOAN SERVICING AGENT to recover costs incurred as a result of maintaining the property. SUCH ENTITY SHALL PROVIDE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WITH WRITTEN NOTICE AT LEAST TEN DAYS PRIOR TO BRINGING AN ACTION PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS NOTICE REQUIREMENT SHALL NOT BE A DEFENSE TO THE ENTITY'S PROCEEDING. The authority provided by this subdivision shall be in addition to, and shall not be deemed to diminish or reduce, any rights of the parties described inS. 7350--A 4
this section under existing law against the mortgagor of such property for failure to maintain such property. 4. In the event the mortgagor of the property commences a proceeding in bankruptcy court prior to the completion of the public auction ordered in the judgment of sale, the duties created by this section shall be suspended during the pendency of the bankruptcy proceeding or until such time as an order has been entered in that proceeding lifting or removing the automatic stay of the foreclosure sale. 5. For the purposes of this section "maintain" shall mean keeping the subject property in a manner that is consistent with the standards set forth in the New York property maintenance code chapter 3 sections 301, 302 (excluding 302.2, 302.6 and 302.8), 304.1, 304.3, 304.7, 304.10, 304.12, 304.13, 304.15, 304.16, 307.1, and 308.1; provided, however, that if the property is occupied by a tenant, then such property must also be maintained in a safe and habitable condition. 6. A
[plaintiff]MORTGAGEE OR ITS LOAN SERVICING AGENT shall be relieved of its responsibilities [to maintain the residential real prop- erty that is the subject of a foreclosure action]UNDER PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION for the period that a receiver of such property is serving. 7. Nothing contained in this section shall diminish in any way the obligations pursuant to any state or local law of the mortgagor of the property or a receiver of rents and profits appointed in an action to foreclose a mortgage to maintain the property prior to the closing of title pursuant to a foreclosure sale. 8. This section shall not preempt, reduce or limit any rights or obli- gations imposed by any local laws with respect to property maintenance and the locality's ability to enforce those laws. S 3. The real property actions and proceedings law is amended by adding a new section 1307-a to read as follows: S 1307-A. DELINQUENT MORTGAGE; VACANT AND ABANDONED PROPERTY; STATE- WIDE VACANT AND ABANDONED PROPERTY ELECTRONIC REGISTRY. 1. WHERE A MORTGAGOR IS THREE MONTHLY PAYMENTS PAST DUE ON A MORTGAGE LOAN SECURED BY RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY, THE MORTGAGEE OR ITS LOAN SERVICING AGENT SHALL PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE MORTGAGOR STATING THAT THE MORTGAGOR HAS THE RIGHT TO OCCUPY THE PROPERTY UNTIL HE OR SHE IS ORDERED TO LEAVE THE PROPERTY BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. SUCH NOTICE SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE MORTGAGOR WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS OF THE DATE THAT THE HOME- OWNER'S ACCOUNT IS PAST DUE BY NINETY DAYS, AND A COPY OF SUCH NOTICE SHALL PROMPTLY BE PROVIDED BY SUCH MORTGAGEE OR LOAN SERVICING AGENT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE NOTICE SHALL BE IN FOURTEEN-POINT FONT AND SHALL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE IN A CLEAR AND CONSPICUOUS FORMAT: "AS YOUR LOAN SERVICER OR MORTGAGE HOLDER, WE ARE REQUIRED TO SEND YOU THIS NOTICE PURSUANT TO NEW YORK STATE LAW. AS THE OWNER OF YOUR HOME, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO OCCUPY YOUR HOME UNTIL SUCH TIME AS YOU ARE ORDERED TO LEAVE BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. WE MAY INITIATE COLLECTION ACTIVITY INCLUDING TAKING STEPS TO COMMENCE AND LITIGATE A FORECLOSURE LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU AND THE PROPERTY. YOU ARE ALLOWED BY NEW YORK STATE LAW TO CONTINUE LIVING IN YOUR HOME REGARDLESS OF ANY COLLECTION METHODS WE PURSUE OR ORAL OR WRITTEN STATE- MENTS MADE DURING THE COLLECTIONS PROCESS, INCLUDING THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS, UNTIL SUCH TIME AS YOU ARE ORDERED BY A COURT TO LEAVE YOUR PROPERTY." 2. (A) THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL MAINTAIN A STATEWIDE VACANT AND ABANDONED PROPERTY REGISTRY IN THE FORM OF AN ELECTRONIC DATABASE. THES. 7350--A 5
ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW, RETAIN A PRIVATE CONTRACTOR TO ADMINISTER SUCH DATABASE FOR THE PURPOSES OF SATISFYING THIS REQUIREMENT, AND SHALL, UPON WRITTEN REQUEST, PROVIDE APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF ANY CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE WITH DIRECT ELECTRONIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION MAINTAINED ON SUCH DATABASE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENFORCING THIS SECTION, SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE OR ARTICLE NINETEEN-A OF THIS CHAPTER, OR ANY OTHER RELATED LAW, CODE, RULE, REGULATION OR ORDINANCE. (B) A MORTGAGEE OR ITS AGENT SHALL SUBMIT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ABOUT ANY VACANT AND ABAN- DONED PROPERTY, AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE, WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS OF WHEN THE MORTGAGEE OR ITS AGENTS LEARN, OR REASONABLY SHOULD HAVE LEARNED, THAT SUCH PROPERTY IS VACANT AND ABANDONED. SUCH INFORMA- TION SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, INCLUDE: (I) THE CURRENT NAME, ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE LENDER OR SERVICER RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAIN- ING THE VACANT PROPERTY; (II) WHETHER A FORECLOSURE ACTION HAS BEEN FILED FOR THE PROPERTY IN QUESTION, AND, IF SO, THE DATE ON WHICH THE FORECLOSURE ACTION WAS COMMENCED; AND (III) THE LAST KNOWN ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE MORTGAGEE OF RECORD. (C) WHERE ANY OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN A MORTGAGEE'S OR ITS AGENT'S INITIAL SUBMISSION TO THE REGISTRY HAS MATERIALLY CHANGED SINCE SUCH SUBMISSION, SUCH MORTGAGE OR AGENT SHALL MAKE AN AMENDED SUBMISSION TO THE REGISTRY NOT LATER THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE MORTGAGEE OR ITS AGENTS LEARN, OR REASONABLY SHOULD HAVE LEARNED, OF THE NEW OR CHANGED INFORMATION. (D) THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED AND EMPOWERED TO ADOPT SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BE NECESSARY FOR THE EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION AND OPERATION OF SUCH REGIS- TRY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING ACCESS TO THE REGISTRY AND SPECIFYING THE MANNER AND FREQUENCY OF REGISTRATION AND THE INFORMATION THAT MUST BE PROVIDED. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY AMEND SUCH REGULATIONS FROM TIME TO TIME AS NECESSARY TO EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION AND SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTI- CLE. (E) THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A TOLL-FREE HOTLINE THAT NEIGHBORS OF REAL PROPERTY THAT IS, OR APPEARS TO BE, VACANT AND ABANDONED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE, AND OTHER COMMUNITY RESIDENTS CAN USE TO REPORT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ANY HAZARDS, BLIGHT OR OTHER CONCERNS RELATED TO SUCH PROPERTY AND TO OBTAIN PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE STATUS OF SUCH PROPERTY. SUCH PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO WHETHER SUCH PROPERTY IS CURRENTLY LISTED ON THE STATEWIDE VACANT AND ABANDONED PROPERTY REGISTRY ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION, AND THE IDENTITY OF THE MORTGAGEE OR LOAN SERVICING COMPANY RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING SUCH VACANT AND ABANDONED PROPERTY PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION. THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL INCLUDE ON ITS OFFICIAL PUBLIC WEBSITE INFORMA- TION ABOUT SUCH TOLL-FREE HOTLINE. 3. (A) WHENEVER A MORTGAGEE OR AGENT OF A MORTGAGEE SHALL VIOLATE THIS SECTION OR SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE, AN APPLICA- TION MAY BE MADE BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO A COURT OR JUSTICE HAVING JURISDICTION BY A SPECIAL PROCEEDING TO ISSUE AN INJUNCTION, AND UPON NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT OF NOT LESS THAN FIVE DAYS, TO ENJOIN OR RESTRAIN THE CONTIN-S. 7350--A 6
UANCE OF SUCH VIOLATION; AND IF IT SHALL APPEAR TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COURT OR JUSTICE THAT THE DEFENDANT HAS, IN FACT, VIOLATED THIS SECTION OR SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE, AN INJUNCTION MAY BE ISSUED BY SUCH COURT OR JUSTICE, ENJOINING AND RESTRAINING ANY FURTHER VIOLATION, WITHOUT REQUIRING PROOF THAT ANY PERSON HAS, IN FACT, BEEN INJURED OR DAMAGED THEREBY. IN CONNECTION WITH ANY SUCH PROPOSED APPLICATION, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE PROOF AND MAKE A DETERMINATION OF THE RELEVANT FACTS AND TO ISSUE SUBPOENAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES. (B) IN ADDITION TO, OR IN LIEU OF, THE RELIEF AUTHORIZED IN PARAGRAPHS (A) AND (C) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, A MUNICIPALITY WHERE THE PROPERTY IS LOCATED MAY INTERVENE AS A MATTER OF RIGHT IN ANY FORECLOSURE ACTION COMMENCED UNDER THIS ARTICLE FOR THE PURPOSES OF REQUESTING INJUNCTIVE RELIEF TO ASSURE THAT THE PROPERTY IN QUESTION IS MAINTAINED IN ACCORD- ANCE WITH ALL ORDINANCES, CODES REGULATIONS AND STATUTES AND THAT THE FORECLOSURE ACTION IS TIMELY PROSECUTED. THE INTERVENOR MAY MOVE TO HAVE ANY ADJOURNMENTS OR VOLUNTARY DISCONTINUANCES IN SUCH FORECLOSURE ACTION CONDITIONED UPON THE POSTING OF A BOND OR OTHER UNDERTAKING OR TO ORDER OTHER MEASURES INTENDED TO ENSURE ONGOING MAINTENANCE OF THE PROPERTY UNTIL SUCH TIME AS TITLE TO THE PROPERTY HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED THROUGH A FORECLOSURE SALE OR OTHERWISE. INTERVENTION IN A FORECLOSURE ACTION PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE AVAILABLE WITH RESPECT TO ANY RESI- DENTIAL PROPERTY SECURED BY A MORTGAGE LOAN AS DEFINED UNDER SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE PROPER- TY IS OCCUPIED, SO LONG AS ONE OF THE OTHER CONDITIONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE IS PRESENT. (C) WHENEVER THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION OR SECTION THIRTEEN HUNDRED SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE BY A MORTGAGEE OR AGENT OF A MORTGAGEE HAS OCCURRED, THE COURT MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DAY FOR EACH DAY THE VIOLATION PERSISTED IN ADDITION TO THE COSTS OF MAINTAINING THE PROPERTY. (D) THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION MAY ALSO BE ENFORCED BY ANY LOCALI- TY OR MUNICIPALITY IN WHICH THE VACANT PROPERTY IS LOCATED, PROVIDED THAT THE LOCALITY OR MUNICIPALITY PROVIDES THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WITH WRITTEN NOTICE AT LEAST TEN DAYS PRIOR TO COMMENCING SUCH AN ACTION UNDER THIS SECTION; AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS NOTICE REQUIREMENT SHALL NOT BE A DEFENSE TO THE LOCALITY'S OR MUNICIPALITY'S PROCEEDING. 4. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT PREEMPT, REDUCE OR LIMIT ANY RIGHTS OR OBLI- GATIONS IMPOSED BY ANY LOCAL LAW WITH RESPECT TO PROPERTY MAINTENANCE AND THE LOCALITY'S ABILITY TO ENFORCE THOSE LAWS. S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate- ly, the addition and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.