Preserving Legacies in Our Community: One Family at a Time

Arturo and his wife moved to the United States from the Philippines in 1974 and settled in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. After retiring in 2017, they took out a reverse mortgage to cover repair costs for their home. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused financial difficulties in 2020, leading to unpaid taxes and insurance and the bank initiating foreclosure proceedings on their home.

With the help of Access Justice Brooklyn, they discovered the Equitable Reverse Mortgage Assistance Program. After several months of hard work, we were able to secure the loan for Arturo and his family and settle the foreclosure case with the bank’s attorneys. Arturo’s daughter, Jamie, was overjoyed, saying, “My family was relieved, we could live normally. We can breathe, we didn’t have to pack our bags up and try to find out where to go.” Arturo was equally grateful, saying, “I want to thank Access Justice Brooklyn for doing good for me. I sleep very good and I’m very happy.”

Arturo is one of many struggling to recover from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Access Justice Brooklyn’s team of experienced attorneys and advocates are committed to helping our neighbors get back on their feet. But we cannot do it alone.

With your support, we can continue to provide a pathway to a more secure future for thousands of Brooklynites just like Arturo and his family.

Stand with Access Justice Brooklyn: Together, we can create a more just Brooklyn by supporting our neighbors with a gift online today!

Governor Hochul Signs Deed Theft and Notary Bill

On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to protect New Yorkers from deed theft, a practice in which property owners are defrauded out of the property titles to their homes.

The new legislation, S.6577/A.6656, strengthens existing protections against deed theft by giving the Attorney General and local District Attorneys the power to pause eviction and ownership disputes while investigating or litigating deed theft cases. The law also increases the range of crimes that prosecutors can use to invalidate fraudulent sale and loan documents, among other measures. Governor Hochul signed the bill in Brooklyn, where the Attorney General, legal services advocates, members of the Legislature, and victims of deed theft were present. To read the official press release and watch the bill signing, click here.

On November 1, 2023, Governor Hochul signed “Notary Bill” eliminating the burdensome and often discriminatory process of requiring documents to be notarized in civil matters!

The new legislation, S.5162/A.5772, allows parties in civil disputes to make sworn statements without the need for notarization. With the enactment of this law, New York joins the federal government and more than 20 other states in eliminating the burdensome and often discriminatory process of notarizing documents in civil matters.

Access Justice Brooklyn is proud to have advocated for the passage of both S.6577/A.6656 and S.5162/A.5772. Thank you to Governor Hochul for making the legal system more accessible to New Yorkers!

New Yorkers are encouraged to report deed theft and other scams to the Attorney General’s office by calling 800-771-7755 or filing a complaint here.

Access Justice Brooklyn provides foreclosure intervention and prevention services to support Brooklyn homeowners. To learn more about our Homeowners Assistance program and access resources, click here.