On March 11, 2024, Access Justice Brooklyn signed a letter of support urging Governor Hochul to prioritize Statewide Right to Counsel legislation (May-S2721) and funding of $260 million in the FY 2025 budget. The statewide Right to Counsel legislation, introduced by Senator Rachel May would ensure that every tenant in New York State has the right to a lawyer when facing an eviction. (Click here to read)

On February 8, 2024 and again on March 14, 2024, Access Justice Brooklyn staff participated in HOPP Funding Advocacy Day in Albany, NY, alongside homeowner advocates to meet with Assembly members and Senators to advocate for the restoration of HOPP funding. We strive to protect the rights of homeowner’s across the borough and will continue to collaborate with fellow advocates and legislators until this critical funding is restored.

On January 19, 2024, Access Justice Brooklyn signed a letter of support urging Governor Kathy Hochul to restore $40 million in funding for the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) in her 2025 Executive Budget. (Click here to read)

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!

On June 5, 2023, Access Justice Brooklyn signed a letter of support of Senator Zellnor Myrie’s bill to Amend the criminal procedure law, the penal law and the executive law, in relation to deed theft (S6569A). The bill would explicitly create the crime of deed theft and ensure that existing criminal penalties apply to scammers who engage in this predatory conduct. (Click here to read)

On May 15, 2023, Access Justice Brooklyn signed a letter in support of Senator Leroy Comrie and Assemblymember Helene Weinstein’s bill to Enact the “Consumer and Small Business Protection Act” (S.795/A.7138). The bill provides vital protections to consumers and small businesses by banning unfair and abusive business acts and practices, in line with 42 other states. (Click here to read)

On Wednesday, April 26, 2023, Access Justice Brooklyn Supervising Attorney, Peter S. White II, provided testimony at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Field Hearing, hosted by Director Rohit Chopra, to discuss “zombie” second mortgages — debts that consumers thought were satisfied long ago by loan modifications or bankruptcy proceedings or that were written off by lenders as uncollectable — and other debt collection issues. (View the hearing here)

On March 30, 2023, Access Justice Brooklyn provided a statement in support of the passage of A.5368/S.4750 to expand protections already in place for consumers in lawsuits involving consumer credit transactions to all forms of consumer debt. The bill would amend the civil practice law and rules, the New York City civil court act, the judiciary law and the uniform city court act, in relation to redefining consumer credit transaction to consumer debt. (Click here to read)

On February 19, 2023, Access Justice Brooklyn provided a comment on the Department of Financial Services’ revised proposed amendments to its debt collection rules. The revised proposed amendments will help curb debt collection abuses by third-party debt collectors, and will address some of the gaps left by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) debt collection rule, Regulation F. (Click here to read)

On February 7, 2023, Access Justice Brooklyn participated in the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) Funding Campaign. HOPP helps thousands of families access housing counseling and legal services to prevent foreclosure and displacement for free. (Click here to learn more)

On January 6, 2023, Access Justice Brooklyn signed a letter in support of reforming the New York child support system to increase efficiency and deliver justice to families. The proposed bill, A.9104/S.8554, would pilot an administrative conference process for straightforward, undisputed child support, providing a broader more options for parents and freeing up needed judicial resources for litigated cases in Family Court. (Click here to read)