The Chief Justice of the New York state court system came out with a new rule on Wednesday, October 20th that legal council for any institution that seeks to foreclose property in New York must sign and be held accountable for all documents submitted by their clients.
According to an AP story that came out yesterday, lawyers will now have to sign an affirmation that all documents submitted are accurate, and have been through the lawyers due diligence.
In New York, attorneys there already have an obligation to ensure that the documents they present to the court are valid, but New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said having them sign something affirming that all papers got a proper review will hold them accountable like never before.
"We want to make sure that everyone is focusing like a laser on these particular types of proceedings," he said. "It puts them on notice. That's what this is all about. We all have to make doubly sure that we are doing what we should be doing in the first place."
The rule requiring a signed affirmation applies to both new cases and the 78,000 foreclosure actions already under way in New York courts.
This precedent ruling may very well become a standard in all states as the Attorney Generals continue to investigate the foreclosure scandal known as Foreclosuregate, and the information that banks not only do not have the original notes, but have been using robo-signing agencies to push through foreclosures at record speeds.
Pay close attention to the courts and legislation in your state, and how it affects you if you are in a position where you might lose property to a foreclosure proceeding, and make sure to coordinate with a lawyer for your protection and for their knowledge on your local state rules.