NY City Council to Include Jaffee’s Legislation in Resolution Denouncing Subprime Predators

November 8, 2007

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) will be testifying before the New York City Council on November 20th as they consider a resolution in support of state and federal legislation responding to the subprime mortgage crisis, including Assembly bill A.8881 introduced by Jaffee. The hearing will be convened jointly by the Committee on Housing and Buildings and the Committee on Consumer Affairs to examine the city and state’s response to the subprime lending crisis.

“I’m honored that the New York City Council is considering the bill I introduced, along with those of my colleagues, to send a message to Albany and Washington that we must act now,” said Jaffee.

Jaffee’s legislation, which would establish a statewide, six-month moratorium on foreclosures of subprime and predatory mortgages and create a temporary state commission to examine the practices, was drafted after the Assemblywoman was approached last winter by a family from Spring Valley who was in foreclosure. The family, who had immigrated to America, became citizens, and worked toward purchasing their first home, was about to lose both their home and savings because of a dishonest and unscrupulous mortgage broker. After some research, Assemblywoman Jaffee realized the extent of the issue and the impact it would have on the entire state.

Jaffee approached Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Chair of the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee, and requested a hearing on the issue. The hearing, convened jointly by five separate Assembly committees, was held on May 29th.

Assemblywoman Jaffee and her colleagues were struck by stories of ordinary New Yorkers who were dangling on the precipice of financial ruin thanks to predatory lenders who prey consumers’ lack of financial acumen.

A conservatively estimated 28,000 New Yorkers will face subprime foreclosure this year alone. “This is an instance where we know a bad situation is going to get even worse if we don’t act now,” said Jaffee. “We’re in a position to minimize the effect before lasting damage is done to our citizens and our economy, but we must take immediate action.”