Kearns Rejects Filings Not in Compliance with Foreclosure Law

Modified: May 10, 2021 12:25pm

May 10, 2021

Ensuring Municipalities have Proper Information to Enforce Zombie Property Foreclosures

Erie County, NY- County Clerk Michael P. Kearns issued a letter to Western New York law firms representing mortgage foreclosure companies reiterating compliance with the New York State Foreclosure Law is required. In order for the process to be transparent the law mandates the name and complete contact information of the mortgage servicer to be included in certain documents in connection with residential mortgage foreclosure actions.  

“As the Erie County Clerk, it is my job, and the responsibility of my office, to accept and reject documents related to a foreclosure filing,” stated Kearns. “If these companies are issuing Lis Pendens, Orders of Reference, and Judgments of Foreclosure and Sale without the required information outlined in the new law I will reject them.” 

Specifically, effective November 11, 2020, the Order of Reference, Judgment of Sale, and Notice of Pendency must include the name and telephone number of the mortgage servicer for a plaintiff involving a mortgage foreclosure of a one-to four-family residential property.

“By requiring this critical step during foreclosure proceedings, this legislation will empower municipalities to more effectively ensure that blighted properties are documented, tracked, and remediated quickly,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “I was proud to work diligently alongside Assembly member Monica Wallace to pass this legislation, and we look forward to seeing this new step streamline the foreclosure process and better preserve our neighborhoods.”

The intent of this law was to make servicer information available to municipalities to better enforce the Zombie Property Foreclosure law should the property become vacant. 

Kearns added, “As this entire process is a team effort I felt it necessary to issue a reminder due to the number of rejections issued in my office.”

Erie County municipalities addressing Zombie property foreclosures in their neighborhoods are encouraged to reach out to the County Clerk’s Office at 858-6985 to access foreclosure documents with this vital information. If you or anyone you know is behind on tax payments, monthly mortgage and facing foreclosure contact our Stay In Your Home campaign for free assistance at or call 828-8429.