Servicers' legal counsel in the New York state court system will now have to file an affirmation certifying that they have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to verify the accuracy of documents filed in support of residential foreclosures. Chief Judge Jonathon Lippman made the announcement – the latest fallout of the ‘robo-signing’ crisis – this week.
‘This new filing requirement will play a vital role in ensuring that the documents judges rely on will be thoroughly examined, accurate and error-free before any judge is asked to take the drastic step of foreclosure,’ Lippman says.
Under the new requirement, servicers' counsel must submit the affirmation at one of several stages. In new cases, the affirmation must accompany the ‘Request for Judicial Intervention.’ In pending cases, the affirmation must be submitted with either the proposed order of reference or the proposed judgment of foreclosure.
In cases where a foreclosure judgment has been entered but the property has not yet been sold at auction, the affirmation must be submitted to the court referee, and a copy must be filed with the court, five business days before the scheduled auction. Counsel is also obligated to file an amended version of the affidavit if new facts emerge after the initial filing.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â