On October 22, the New York governor directed NYDFS to investigate instances of alleged mortgage deed fraud and deceptive practices targeting homeowners in Brooklyn. In addition to the investigation, the governor also directed NYDFS to “dispatch the Department's Foreclosure Relief Unit to provide assistance to homeowners who believe they may have been a victim of deed fraud or unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices in regard to the sale or attempted purchase of their home.”

As previously covered by InfoBytes, the governor recently signed a package of bills intended to increase consumer homeowner protections. Specifically, A 5615 amended state law related to distressed home loans to extend consumer protections for homes in default and foreclosure by, among other things, (i) providing homeowners additional time to cancel a covered contract with a purchaser; (ii) preventing distressed property consultants from inducing the consumer to transfer the deed to the consultant or anyone else; and (iii) allowing consumers to void contracts, deeds, or other agreements material to the consumer’s property where an individual was convicted of or pled guilty to making false statements in connection with that agreement.