SBAGK has assisted homeowners in litigating hundreds of foreclosure cases all over New York City and Long Island. The team has seen their share of usurious mortgages and arbitrary legal arguments made by Banks in a desperate effort to foreclose on a property. However, recently SBAGK has noticed an alarming pattern in some foreclosure cases, one that is slowly becoming more prominent.
On May 13, 2019, SBAGK filed a motion in Bronx Supreme Court to fight a foreclosure action against a property in the South Bronx. The house is one of the oldest homes in all of the Bronx and the oldest home in the South Bronx on its original foundation. It was purchased by the defendant in the foreclosure action in 2001, and the Plaintiff-Bank commenced a foreclosure in 2010.
The glaring problem in the case, argued by SBAGK, is that when the action was commenced, the borrower had passed away months before. This is problematic since any lawsuit is commenced against a deceased person is a nullity.
Shockingly, SBAGK’s foreclosure and quiet title departments have come across several cases where the lender has attempted to commence an action against a deceased person, many times without even naming the Administrator of the Estate of the deceased until prompted by the court. Once again, Banks have exhibited just how far they are willing to go to win a foreclosure, either by omitting the fact that the borrower has died and, therefore, winning a default, or just not conducting the proper research to confirm whether or not the homeowner is still living.
“This is appalling,” says Partner Mark Anderson. “Even after they are told what they’re doing is blatantly wrong, they continue to fight. The lengths that Banks will go to foreclose on properties become more frightening with every case.”
Either way, having an experienced foreclosure defense attorney is imperative when it comes to matters like this. A homeowner should seek an attorney who is not only familiar with the foreclosure process, but also with the laws that regulate Banks and mortgage lenders. For example, in the case involving the historic home in the Bronx, SBAGK was able to spot the fact that a foreclosure cannot be commenced against a deceased person and swiftly took action accordingly.