Raia, Fighting To Protect Homeowners

Bill to protect homeowners from deed theft scams that result in loss of homes and equity
May 16, 2006

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-East Northport) is fighting to protect homeowners from becoming victims of home equity theft, a scam that has recently caused Long Island homeowners to lose their homes.

“We must stand up for those that fall victim to these scams which have disastrous effects on their lives,” said Raia. “They have lost things they worked their entire lives for and now are left with nothing.”

Raia noted the unfortunate situation of Carol and Anthony Calvagno who had planned to refinance their home in efforts to avoid foreclosure but were taken advantage of by a mortgage broker who was later convicted of grand larceny for taking their money. The house was later bought at an auction by an East Northport woman, as an investment, with plans of remolding the house.

“It is a situation where the victims are truly helpless and it is our responsibility as legislators to change state law to prevent hardworking homeowners from being taken advantage by these white collar crooks,” said Raia. “The legislation put forward to address this issue will be an asset to homeowners across the state.”

Raia, who was recently appointed as the ranking minority member on the Assembly Banks Committee, said he is eager to begin work on the prestigious committee. The “Home Equity Theft Prevention Act” seeks to provide homeowners with protections against various scams such as requiring written disclosures, providing homeowners with a five day period to cancel a transaction, and providing homeowners with legal recourse if violations are committed.

“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Banks Committee to help get the lives of innocent victims of home equity theft back together,” said Raia. “For many, it is more than a house. It is a home filled with lifelong memories and we must pass this legislation to provide homeowners with the proper protections.”