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A10730 Summary:

COSPNSRRobinson, Dilan, Hyndman, Lupardo
Amd §§2401 & 2404, add §2405-f, Pub Auth L
Establishes the New York state community restoration fund.
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A10730 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Rules (Weinstein)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to establishing the New York state community restoration fund   PURPOSE: This bill would amend the State of New York Mortgage Agency Act (the "Act") to create the New York State Community Restoration Fund to assist homeowners who are either delinquent on their mortgage payments or are in danger of going into default because of economic hardship.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill would amend Section 2401 of the Act to set forth the Legislative intent. Section two of the bill would amend § 2404 of the Act to authorize SONY- MA to create: (I) the New York State Community Restoration Fund (the "Fund") and; (ii) a subsidiary to administer and operate such a Fund, including the right to own, acquire and dispose of real property, mort- gages and mortgage notes. Section three of the bill would create a new § 2405-f of the Act to - define certain terms, including: "vacant and abandoned" which shall be a property that is not occupied by an owner or tenant and where the property is either a health and safety risk, has been deemed unsafe for occupancy by the relevant governmental entity, or the homeowner or mort- gagor has informed the mortgagee in writing of their intention to not occupy the property - establish that federally certified Community Development Financial Institutions, non-profit or housing counseling agencies, land banks or local governments are eligible to work in partnership with the fund; - authorize SONYMA to administer the fund, and to utilize the funds' resources to acquire, purchase, modify, rehabilitate, demolish, and or sell residences and/or mortgage notes at par or at below market prices based upon guidelines established by SONYMA in consultation with a seven-member advisory board, comprised of a majority of non-profit community members, provided that the homeowner can demonstrate economic hardship. - Authorize SONYMA to rehabilitate distressed properties, demolish homes that are dilapidated beyond repair and fund not-for-profit developers, agencies and affordable housing developers to acquire vacant and aban- doned properties, based upon specific criteria set forth in the afore- mentioned guidelines. Section four would provide the effective date and severability provisions.   STATEMENT IN SUPPORT: This bill would provide a key tool for the State to address foreclosure crisis, and make use of the expertise of SONYMA, the State's primary single-family financing agency.   BUDGET IMPLICATIONS: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: The bill would take effect immediately.
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A10730 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      June 14, 2016
        Introduced  by  COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Weinstein,
          Robinson) -- (at request of the Governor) -- read once and referred to
          the Committee on Housing
        AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to  establishing
          the New York state community restoration fund
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 2401 of the public authorities law, is  amended  by
     2  adding a new closing paragraph to read as follows:
     3    It is further found and determined that there is a need to establish a
     4  program  to  assist  homeowners  in  the state of New York who have been
     5  affected by the national mortgage crisis who are  either  delinquent  on
     6  their  mortgage  payments or are in danger of going into default because
     7  of economic hardship, as such term is defined under the agency's  guide-
     8  lines, in consultation with the advisory council established in subdivi-
     9  sion  three  of section twenty-four hundred five-f of this part, who may
    10  lose their homes to foreclosure, or who may have abandoned  their  homes
    11  due  to  economic hardship and who may benefit from assistance. In addi-
    12  tion, the existence of vacant,  abandoned,  distressed,  dilapidated  or
    13  reasonably beyond repair properties may contribute to the persistence of
    14  conditions  that  increase  blight  and  add to the deterioration of the
    15  quality of the environment and living conditions of a  large  number  of
    16  persons residing in the state. To address these conditions, it is hereby
    17  found and determined that the state of New York mortgage agency shall be
    18  authorized  to  create  and  manage  a fund to acquire residences and to
    19  purchase mortgages and mortgage notes, or to provide monies to  eligible
    20  institutions  to  acquire residences and to purchase mortgages and mort-
    21  gage notes and to carry out such other functions in connection with such
    22  acquisitions as are necessary to accomplish the purposes of  this  para-
    23  graph.  In  connection  therewith, the state of New York mortgage agency
    24  shall be authorized to create a subsidiary corporation to carry out  the
    25  program authorized under this paragraph.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 10730                            2
     1    §  2. Subdivision 31 of section 2404 of the public authorities law, as
     2  renumbered by chapter 151 of the laws of 2013, is renumbered subdivision
     3  33 and two new subdivisions 31 and 32 are added to read as follows:
     4    (31)  To  administer  the  fund  and  operate the program set forth in
     5  section twenty-four hundred five-f of this part.
     6    (32) To form a subsidiary to be known as "the state of New York  mort-
     7  gage  agency  community restoration fund" for the purpose of using funds
     8  available to the agency under the program set forth in  section  twenty-
     9  four  hundred  five-f  of  this part and of owning and holding any resi-
    10  dences, mortgages and mortgage notes acquired  by  the  agency,  and  to
    11  otherwise  carry  out the purposes of section twenty-four hundred five-f
    12  of this part. Such subsidiary created pursuant to this  subdivision  may
    13  exercise  and perform one or more of the purposes, powers, duties, func-
    14  tions, rights and responsibilities of the agency, other than  the  issu-
    15  ance of indebtedness, in connection with real and personal property with
    16  respect  to which the agency holds or held a mortgage, security interest
    17  or other collateral. Such  subsidiary  shall  have  the  power  to  own,
    18  acquire  and  dispose  of  real  property, and to acquire, own and hold,
    19  service and dispose of mortgages and mortgage notes. It shall  have  the
    20  right  to foreclose or contract to foreclose on any mortgage acquired by
    21  such subsidiary, under the laws of the state, to commence any action  to
    22  protect  or to enforce the rights conveyed to it by law, contract or any
    23  agreement and to dispose of any such property and to  otherwise  proceed
    24  with  any  action  as  may be necessary to protect the interests of said
    25  subsidiary. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the  contrary,
    26  the  transfer  of title to such subsidiary or any other actions taken by
    27  the agency or such subsidiary to enforce the agency's rights  under  the
    28  mortgage,  security interest or other collateral interest or to protect,
    29  acquire, own, manage or dispose of the property shall be deemed to be  a
    30  corporate  purpose of the agency granted to it to carry out the purposes
    31  of section twenty-four hundred five-f  of  this  part.  Such  subsidiary
    32  shall  be  established  in  the  form of a public benefit corporation by
    33  executing and filing with the secretary of state a certificate of incor-
    34  poration which shall identify the agency as the entity  organizing  such
    35  subsidiary  and  set  forth  the  name of such subsidiary public benefit
    36  corporation, its duration, the location of its principal office and  its
    37  corporate purposes as provided in this subdivision and which certificate
    38  may  be  amended  from  time to time by the filing of amendments thereto
    39  with the secretary of state, provided that the subsidiary created  here-
    40  under  shall cease to exist at such time as the program authorized under
    41  section twenty-four hundred five-f of this part is no longer  in  exist-
    42  ence.  Such  subsidiary  shall  be  organized as a public benefit corpo-
    43  ration, shall be a body politic and corporate, and shall  have  all  the
    44  privileges, immunities, tax exemptions and other exemptions of the agen-
    45  cy.  The  members of such subsidiary shall be the same as the members of
    46  the agency.
    47    § 3. The public authorities law is amended by  adding  a  new  section
    48  2405-f to read as follows:
    49    §  2405-f. New York state community restoration fund. (1) Definitions.
    50  For the purposes of this section, the following  terms  shall  have  the
    51  following meanings:
    52    (a)  "fund"  shall  mean the New York state community restoration fund
    53  established pursuant to subdivision two of this section;
    54    (b) "residential home loan" shall mean a  first  or  subordinate  lien
    55  loan,  including  mortgage  loans  purchased by the agency under section
    56  twenty-four hundred five-b of this part, that is secured by a borrower's

        A. 10730                            3
     1  interest in: (i) residential real  property,  including  as  defined  in
     2  section   thirteen  hundred  five  of  the  real  property  actions  and
     3  proceedings law, and any improvements  or  structures  thereon;  (ii)  a
     4  share or shares of a cooperative corporation that entitles a borrower to
     5  a  housing  unit;  or  (iii)  a  residential structure that is part of a
     6  condominium development. Residential home loan shall also include inter-
     7  est, taxes, homeownership associations fees, carrying charges, and other
     8  liens encumbering the residence;
     9    (c) "vacant and abandoned" residential real property  shall  mean  (i)
    10  residential  real  property, as defined in section thirteen hundred five
    11  of the real property actions and proceedings law, where the property  is
    12  not  occupied by the tenant, as that term is defined in section thirteen
    13  hundred five of the real property actions and proceedings law,  homeown-
    14  er, or mortgagor and (ii) either:
    15    (A)  the  property  is a risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the
    16  public, or any adjoining or adjacent property owners,  due  to  acts  of
    17  vandalism, loitering, criminal conduct, or physical destruction or dete-
    18  rioration of the property; or
    19    (B)  the  relevant  governmental  authority  has declared the property
    20  unfit for occupancy and either ordered that the property  remain  vacant
    21  and unoccupied or ordered that the property be demolished; or
    22    (C) each homeowner or mortgagor has separately informed the mortgagee,
    23  in  writing,  that  they  do  not  intend  to occupy the property in the
    24  future, and
    25    (iii) where indicia of lack of occupancy may include, but shall not be
    26  limited to: (A) overgrown or dead vegetation; (B) accumulation of  news-
    27  papers,  circulars,  flyers,  or  mail;  (C)  past  due utility notices,
    28  disconnected utilities or utilities not  in  use;  (D)  accumulation  of
    29  trash,  refuse  or other debris; (E) absence of window coverings such as
    30  curtains, blinds, or shutters; (F) absence of  furnishings  or  personal
    31  items  consistent  with residential habitation; (G) one or more boarded,
    32  missing or broken windows; (H) the property is open to casual  entry  or
    33  trespass;  (I)  the  property  has  a  building  or structure that is or
    34  appears structurally unsound or has any other condition that presents  a
    35  potential hazard or danger to the safety of persons, and
    36    (iv)  where  such  residential  real  property shall not be considered
    37  "vacant and abandoned" if, on the property: (A) there is  an  unoccupied
    38  building which is undergoing construction, renovation, or rehabilitation
    39  that is proceeding to completion, and the building is in compliance with
    40  all  applicable  ordinances, codes, regulations, and statutes; (B) there
    41  is a building that is secure, but is the subject of  a  probate  action,
    42  action  to quiet title, or other similar ownership dispute; (C) there is
    43  a building damaged by natural  disaster  upon  declaration  of  a  state
    44  disaster  emergency  by the governor pursuant to section twenty-eight of
    45  the executive law relating to any claim arising from the cause  of  such
    46  declaration,  while awaiting funds to repair; or (D) there is a building
    47  occupied on a seasonal basis, but otherwise secure;
    48    (d) "homeowner" shall mean a natural person who has a  legal  interest
    49  in  the  property other than a tenant and is the occupant of a residence
    50  that secures such residential home loan;
    51    (e) "eligible institution" shall mean a community  development  finan-
    52  cial  institution or a community development financial institution part-
    53  nered with a not-for-profit, housing counseling agency,  land  bank,  or
    54  other  local  government entity, or any of the aforementioned, either on
    55  their own or partnered with a community development  financial  institu-
    56  tion. An eligible community development financial institution shall have

        A. 10730                            4
     1  a record of success in serving investment areas or targeted populations;
     2  and/or  shall have agreed to expand its operations into a new investment
     3  area or to serve a new  targeted  population,  offer  more  products  or
     4  services,  or increase the volume of its current business. Eligible not-
     5  for-profits shall, among other things, have the  ability  to:  undertake
     6  repair  or  rehabilitation efforts; carry out property and asset manage-
     7  ment, including servicing, undertake demolition; and/or provide  assist-
     8  ance  in  finding housing options, market properties for sale or rental;
     9  coordinate, provide, and/or connect homeowners to counseling, mediation,
    10  legal representation, and negotiate on behalf of  homeowners  seeking  a
    11  residential home loan payment modification, provide training and support
    12  for  counselors,  mediators,  and attorneys regarding such assistance to
    13  homeowners, as well as provide credit counseling;
    14    (f) "community development financial institution" or "CDFI" shall mean
    15  an organization located in this state which  has  been  certified  as  a
    16  community  development  financial  institution  by the federal community
    17  development financial institutions fund, as established pursuant  to  12
    18  U.S.C. 4701 et seq., as amended from time to time;
    19    (g)  "investment  area"  means a geographic area that is determined by
    20  the agency, from time to time, as meeting  criteria  indicative,  as  of
    21  such  time,  of economic distress, including unemployment rate; foreclo-
    22  sure rate; percentages and numbers of low-income residents;  per  capita
    23  income and per capita real property wealth; and such other indicators of
    24  distress  as  the  agency shall determine. Economically distressed areas
    25  may include counties, cities, municipalities, block numbering areas, and
    26  census tracts. The program shall to the fullest extent  possible  strive
    27  for  regional  diversity  in providing foreclosure relief and assistance
    28  consistent with the program goals to  communities  throughout  New  York
    29  state that are impacted by the foreclosure crises;
    30    (h) "lender" means banks as defined in section twenty-four hundred two
    31  of  this  part, investors including institutional investors, the agency,
    32  any state agency authorized to acquire and hold residential home  loans,
    33  mortgage servicers and other private, non-bank entities that may own and
    34  hold  a  mortgage and mortgage note, the federal housing administration,
    35  the U.S. department of agriculture rural  development  corporation,  the
    36  U.S.  department  of  housing and urban development, the federal housing
    37  finance agency, and any privately owned, publicly chartered entities and
    38  wholly-owned corporate instrumentalities of the United States within the
    39  U.S.  department of housing and urban development created by congress to
    40  encourage lending and reduce costs primarily in the  housing  sector  of
    41  the economy; and
    42    (i)  "residence" means residential real property as defined in section
    43  thirteen hundred five of the real property actions and proceedings law.
    44    (2) The agency is hereby directed to establish and administer  a  fund
    45  to  be  known  as the "New York state community restoration fund," which
    46  shall consist of monies deposited therein.  Nothing  contained  in  this
    47  section  shall prevent the agency from receiving grants, gifts, or other
    48  monies from other sources, or bequests  and  depositing  them  into  the
    49  fund.  The  agency  shall not commingle the monies in such fund with any
    50  other monies of the agency.
    51    (3) The monies in the fund shall be eligible to be used by the  agency
    52  under  program  guidelines  established by the board of directors of the
    53  agency, in consultation with an advisory council to be  created  by  the
    54  agency  comprised of a minimum of seven members, where a majority of the
    55  membership of the council will  be  comprised  of  representatives  from
    56  non-profit  members  of  the  community  with knowledge of foreclosures,

        A. 10730                            5
     1  housing, or community development needs in communities hard hit by fore-
     2  closures.  The guidelines shall include, among  other  things,  require-
     3  ments  to  ensure  that fund monies are expended based upon demonstrable
     4  community needs, for the purposes set forth in this subdivision, and may
     5  also  be  awarded  by  the agency to eligible institutions following the
     6  process established pursuant to subdivision four of this section, to:
     7    (a) acquire, purchase, or sell residences  and/or  mortgage  notes  on
     8  residential  home  loans  and residences at or below market rates, or at
     9  par if so required to satisfy legal or programmatic restrictions  appli-
    10  cable  to  the  purchase  of any mortgage loans expected to be acquired,
    11  from lenders, or from local, state, and/or  the  federal  government  at
    12  auction, short sale, or other private or public sale with the intent to:
    13    (i) where possible, provided the homeowner can demonstrate an economic
    14  hardship,  as  such  term  is  defined under the agency's guidelines, in
    15  consultation with the advisory council, modify the residential home loan
    16  to an affordable rate to keep the current homeowners in the property;
    17    (ii) permit the homeowner, provided the homeowner can  demonstrate  an
    18  economic  hardship,  as  such  term is defined under the agency's guide-
    19  lines, in consultation with the advisory council, to transfer his or her
    20  ownership interest in the home to the agency or to an eligible  institu-
    21  tion and to remain in the residence as a tenant on agreed-upon terms, or
    22  obtain  assistance from the agency or an eligible institution to acquire
    23  a new affordable residence;
    24    (iii) rehabilitate distressed properties; and/or
    25    (iv) demolish homes that are dilapidated or reasonably beyond repair.
    26    (b) make grants and loans  to  eligible  homeowners  or  to  potential
    27  buyers of residences in the investment areas; or
    28    (c) fund not-for-profit developers, affordable housing developers, and
    29  not-for-profit  agencies  to  acquire vacant and abandoned properties or
    30  other real property, mortgages, or mortgage notes  acquired  under  this
    31  program, and develop such properties into affordable housing and to work
    32  with  homeowners  in  the  investment area eligible to be assisted under
    33  this section, through activities such as  foreclosure  prevention  coun-
    34  seling,  providing  new  homeowner  training,  home repair and rehabili-
    35  tation, property and asset management, demolition, and marketing proper-
    36  ties for sale and rental.
    37    (4) (a) In awarding funding to eligible institutions, the agency shall
    38  select from eligible institutions pursuant to  criteria  established  by
    39  the agency's board of directors, in consultation with the advisory coun-
    40  cil  established  in  subdivision  three of this section, which criteria
    41  shall include, but not be limited to:
    42    (i) the experience and background of the eligible institution's  board
    43  of directors or management team;
    44    (ii)  the extent of need within the investment areas or targeted popu-
    45  lations;
    46    (iii) the extent of economic distress within the investment  areas  or
    47  the extent of need within the targeted populations;
    48    (iv)  the  extent  of  the  eligible institution's current and planned
    49  community involvement;
    50    (v) the extent to which the eligible  institution  will  increase  its
    51  resources  through  coordination  with  other  eligible  institutions or
    52  encourage collaborative applications by multiple eligible institutions;
    53    (vi) in the case of an institution with a  prior  history  of  serving
    54  investment areas or targeted populations, the extent of success in serv-
    55  ing such areas or populations;

        A. 10730                            6
     1    (vii)  the  extent  to  which eligible institutions would use funds to
     2  restructure residential home loans to allow homeowners  to  continue  to
     3  occupy their residences; and
     4    (viii) other factors deemed to be appropriate by the agency.
     5    (b)  In  allocating funding to eligible institutions, the agency shall
     6  be authorized to make funding available in any manner necessary for such
     7  eligible institution to participate in auctions  disposing  of  mortgage
     8  notes or residences.
     9    (5)  The  agency's board of directors shall establish, in consultation
    10  with the advisory council  established  in  subdivision  three  of  this
    11  section, guidelines to:
    12    (a)  develop  application and reporting procedures for eligible insti-
    13  tutions to use to apply for funds to carry out the  provisions  of  this
    14  section  and  criteria for use by the eligible institutions that receive
    15  funds pursuant to this section to evaluate applications  for  assistance
    16  from homeowners;
    17    (b)  develop  guidelines  for  funds issued to and loans issued by the
    18  agency and by eligible institutions, including guidelines for use by the
    19  agency for purchase and sales of residences and/or mortgages and notes;
    20    (c)  establish  the  procedure  by  which  eligible  institutions  are
    21  selected and compensated, including establishing the relative importance
    22  and/or weight given to each criterion;
    23    (d)  establish terms by which eligible institutions shall maintain and
    24  utilize funds received pursuant to this section, provided  however  that
    25  eligible  institutions  shall keep such funds separate from all other of
    26  its business or fiduciary accounts; and
    27    (e) establish terms by which the eligible institutions shall repay the
    28  fund for monies allocated to them pursuant to this section, if  applica-
    29  ble.
    30    (6)  Nothing  in  this  section shall preclude an eligible institution
    31  from working with or coordinating activities and/or  services  with  any
    32  entity  that  handles  and  facilitates  the transfers of mortgage notes
    33  and/or property to  eligible  entities  under  this  section;  provided,
    34  however, that any funds awarded to an eligible institution shall only be
    35  used to advance the purposes of this section.
    36    (7)  The  agency shall submit a report to the governor, the speaker of
    37  the assembly, the minority leader of the assembly, the temporary  presi-
    38  dent  of  the senate, and the minority leader of the senate on or before
    39  the first of February each year. Such report shall include, but  not  be
    40  limited to, a detailed description of the use of funds by the agency for
    41  programs  under  this section, and of the use of funds for each eligible
    42  institution receiving funds under this section.
    43    § 4. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
    44  sion, section or part of this act shall be  adjudged  by  any  court  of
    45  competent  jurisdiction  to be invalid, such judgement shall not affect,
    46  impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall  be  confined  in
    47  its  operation  to  the  clause,  sentence, subdivision, section or part
    48  thereof directly involved in the controversy  in  which  such  judgement
    49  shall  have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the
    50  legislature that this act would have been enacted even if  such  invalid
    51  provisions had not been included herein.
    52    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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