Did you know there are New York state statutes that provide that when a person or entity commences or continues an action without requisite standing, said person or entity is liable for treble damages to the adverse party, liable for damages plus $250 to the actual party in interest, and is “guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six months”?
It is an unfortunate secret that New York Civil Rights Law §70 imposes liability where a person or entity vexatiously or maliciously “in the name of another but without the latter’s consent” commences or continues an action. The companion statute, New York Civil Rights Law §71, will award treble damages when such unauthorized conduct is proved. Think about the hundreds of cases over the last decade where debtors-in-default in New York lost their homes to plaintiffs that lacked standing—i.e., authority—to commence or continue a foreclosure action. It is time for the foreclosure defense bar, district attorneys and New York state courts to step up their excellence and provide debtors-in-default with the justice they deserve.