Full Episode: November 30, 2015

Do fathers deserve as much time off as mothers when a new child comes into the family? We speak with a former CNN reporter who asked for more time off when his child was born and ended up in a completely new career. And it’s the time of giving and spending. But how do you give without getting scammed or going over budget? New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin shares some tips. Plus, we’ve heard that home prices are breaking records in the city, so is there anywhere left you can still find a deal? We talk with Corcoran Real Estate Group President and CEO Pamela Liebman.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' DO FATHERS DESERVE AS MUCH TIME OFF AS MOTHERS WHEN A CHILD IS BORN?

FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG HAS JUST ANNOUNCED WHEN HIS DAUGHTER ARRIVES, HE'S TAKING OFF FOUR MONTHS.

NOT EVERYONE IS MARK ZUCKERBERG.

WHEN A FORMER CNN EMPLOYEE ASKED FOR MORE TIME OFF AFTER THE BIRD OF HIS CHILD IT LED HIM TO A WHOLE NEW CAREER.

HE'LL BE HERE WITH THE STORY.

> THE HOLIDAY IS COMING UP.

IT'S THE SEASON OF GIVING AND SPENDING.

HOW DO YOU GIVE WITHOUT GETTING SCAMMED OR GOING OVER BUDGET?

NEW YORK CITY CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER JULIE MENNEN WILL BE HERE TO TELL US.

> NEW YORK'S REAL ESTATE BOOM KEEPS GETTING STRONGER AND WE HAVE SOME INSIGHT INTO WHERE YOU MIGHT FIND A BARGAIN ON THAT NEXT APARTMENT OR WHERE YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING TO GET A GREAT DEAL.

THAT'S ALL AHEAD AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS.'

WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA.

YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY --

MY LEG HAD ALWAYS HURT A LOT.

I WOULD CRY AND I WOULD SCREAM.

THE ORIGINAL DIAGNOSIS FOR THIS DISEASE IS TO AMPUTATE IT.

WITH NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN'S HELP THAT HASN'T HAPPENED.

THEY SAVED WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN.

PEOPLE WERE SURPRISED BY MY CHEERLEADING BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO DO ALL THESE FLIPS AND STUFF AND NOT BE JUDGED FOR IT, NOT BE CRITIQUED FOR IT.

WITH CHEER LEADING I LEARNED TO DO THIS.

> IF YOU'RE A PREGNANT WOMAN WHO WORKS IN THE UNITED STATES, ODDS ARE YOUR EMPLOYER WILL PROVIDE SOME PAID MATERNITY LEAVE.

IF YOU'RE A MAN WHO BECOMES A DAD THE STORY IS QUITE DIFFERENT.

APPROXIMATELY 58% OF U.S.

COMPANIES GIVE NEW MOTHERS SOME KIND OF PAYOFF GIVING BIRTH.

ONLY ABOUT 14% OFFER PAID LEAVES TO FATHERS.

MICROSOFT, MORGAN STANLEY, NETFLIX AND FACEBOOK OFFER GENEROUS MATERNITY LEAVE.

FACEBOOK FOUNDER AND CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG ANNOUNCED HE'S GOING TO BE TAKING A TWO-MONTH LEAVE AFTER THE BIRTH OF HIS DAUGHTER.

ON HIS FACEBOOK PAGE MR.

ZUCKERBERG WROTE, STUDIES SHOW THAT WHEN WORKING PARENTS TAKE TIME TO BE WITH THEIR NEWBORNS OUTCOMES ARE BETTER FOR THE CHILDREN AND THE FAMILIES.

AT FACEBOOK WE OFFER OUR U.S.

EMPLOYEES UP TO FOUR MONTHS OF PAID MAY PERSONALITY OR PATERNITY LEAVE WHICH THEY CAN TAKE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.'

IN 2013 THE CABLE NEWS GIANT CNN THEN OFFERS MOTHERS TEN WEEKS OF PARENTAL LEAVE, FATHERS ONLY TWO.

AFTER THE BIRD OF HIS DAUGHTER, CNN JOURNALIST JOSH LETZ ASKED FOR BUT WAS DENIES AN EXTENSION OF HIS TIME OFF.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT IS IN HIS NEW BOOK 'ALL IN' WHICH CHRONICLES HIS EXPERIENCE WHILE DEBUNKING MYTHS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A 21st CENTURY DAD.

JOSH, WELCOME.

THANKS SO MUCH, GREAT TO BE HERE.

WHAT DID HAPPEN NEXT AFTER YOUR REQUEST WAS DENIES?

A COUPLE THINGS HAPPENED.

FIRST WHEN THEY SAID NO, I SPOKE WITH MY ATTORNEYS.

WE WERE ALL SURPRISED.

WE ENDED UP TAKING LEGAL ACTION.

AND FILING --

AGAINST YOUR BOSS?

AGAINST CNN.

THAT'S ALWAYS EASY.

IT WAS A TIME WARNER DECISION, SO AGAINST TIME WARNER.

PEOPLE SAY IT MUST HAVE BEEN HARD BUT FOR ME IT WAS SO OBVIOUS THAT IT WAS WRONG.

THE LEGAL ACTION WAS FOR OTHER FAMILIES AS WELL.

I DIDN'T WANT OTHER FAMILIES TO SUFFER THIS WAY.

ALSO BECAUSE I HAD COVER SOD MUCH OF THIS BECAUSE OF A JOURNALIST I KNEW IT WAS BAD BUSINESS, I KNEW IT WAS BAD FOR FAMILIES.

YOU SAID IT WAS KIND OF WEIRD THE WAY THEY HAD THE POLICY.

BUT THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO GIVE YOU TWO WEEKS.

WHAT BASIS DID YOU SUE THEM OR TAKE THEM TO COURT?

FIRST OF ALL, WHEN A COMPANY HAS A POLICY THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED TO DISCRIMINATE BASED ON CERTAIN THINGS.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, FEDERAL LAW.

YOU CANNOT DISCRIMINATE BASED ON RACE, RELIGION, AND YOU CANNOT DISCRIMINATE BASED UPON GENDER.

IT WAS THE STRONG FEELING AND THAT OF MY ATTORNEYS AND MANY PEOPLE THAT THIS WAS OBVIOUS GENDER DISCRIMINATION.

THE COMPANY DISAGREED.

USUALLY THEY REVOLUTIONIZED THE POLICY.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT IN A SECOND.

WHAT WAS THE IMMEDIATE RESPONSE?

HOW DID YOUR COLLEAGUES RESPOND TO YOU SUING YOUR BOSS?

MY COLLEAGUES WERE INCREDIBLE.

ALL PRETTY STUNNED BECAUSE THEY HADN'T SEEN SOMEONE DO THIS BEFORE.

BUT THEY STARTED POSTING MESSAGES ON FACEBOOK SAYING HOW PROUD OF ME THIS WERE.

WHEN I CAME BACK TO WORK SOME PEOPLE WERE WHISPERING AT FIRST.

A FEW BRAVE ONES SAID THINGS OUT LOUD IN THE NEWSROOM.

ONCE THOSE PEOPLE DID THAT, THE FLOOD DATES WERE OPENED.

ARE YOU A FORMER CNN EMPLOYEE BECAUSE OF THIS?

OH, NO, NO.

THIS ALL HAPPENED TWO YEARS AGO.

I CONTINUE TO WORK AT CNN.

WORKERS IN THIS COUNTRY NEED TO KNOW THEIR RIGHTS.

IF YOU HAVE A CASE BEFORE THE EEOC, IF YOU TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST A COMPANY, THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED TO SUE YOU -- TO FIRE YOU FOR IT.

THE FACT IS COMES DO, AND THEY DO THAT ILLEGALLY.

I KNEW MY LEGAL RIGHTS SO NO, I WAS NEVER FIRED FOR IT.

I CONTINUED TO BE AN EMPLOYEE UNTIL RECENTLY, WHEN I LEFT BECAUSE OF THE BOOK.

LET'S GO TO THE BASIC QUESTION.

WHY SHOULD FATHERS GET THE SAME TIME OFF AS MOTHERS?

THE FIRST THING YOU'LL HEAR IS, YOU DIDN'T GO THROUGH NINE MONTHS CARRYING THE BABY, YOU DIDN'T GIVE BIRTH.

THERE ARE SPECIAL BONDS BETWEEN A NEWBORN BABY AND HIS OR HER MOTHER.

A SPECIAL BOND BETWEEN MOTHER AND CHILD, A SPECIAL BOND BETWEEN FATHER AND CHILD.

ALL RIGHT?

NO ONE IS SUGGESTING THERE ISN'T.

WOMEN SHOULD GET TIME FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY, RECOVERY.

THIS IS WHAT A -- COMPANIES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY HAVE BEEN PRETENDING THEY'RE GIVING MATERNITY LEAVE BUT THEY'RE NOT.

THEY'RE PAYING WOMEN FOR THE DISABILITY OF GIVING BIRTH, THE SAME THING AS IF A MAN BREAKS HIS LEG AND GETS PAID FOR DISABILITY.

IT'S NOT SPECIFIC TO MATERNITY.

SO THIS FEDERAL GUIDANCE NOW THAT SAYS, YES, WOMEN SHOULD GET LEAVE FOR PHYSICAL RECOVERY.

HOWEVER, ANY LEAVE THAT IS GIVEN TO ACTUALLY TAKE CARE OF THE CHILD HAS TO BE GENDER-NEUTRAL.

YOU'VE GOT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENING IS WE STILL HAVE STRUCTURES IN THIS COUNTRY PUSHING WOMEN TO STAY HOME, PUSHING MEN TO STAY AT WORK.

SO MANY STRUCTURES, LAWS AND POLICIES AND STIGMAS PUSHING US INTO OLD JENNER IN NORMS AND PREVENTING EQUALITY.

THE GLASS CEILING IS MAINTAINED AS LONG AS MEN AND WOMEN ARE TREATED DIFFERENTLY IN A CASE LIKE THIS?

I GREW UP IN UPSTATE NEW YORK, ALBANY.

GIRLS I KNEW WERE JUST AS SMART AND CAPABLE, JUST AS DRIVEN.

WE BELIEVED IN GENDER EQUALITY.

I ASSUMED IT WAS REAL.

I'M 43 NOW, LESS THAN 5% OF THE CEOs IN THE S&P 500 ARE WOMEN.

YOU MAKE THE ARGUMENT IN THE BOOK THIS IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS.

YES.

BUT YOU KNOW BUSINESSES ARE IN BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY.

IF IT WAS GOOD FOR THEM, DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD KNOW IT AND WOULD ALREADY BE IMPLEMENTING THESE POLICIES?

NO THERE'S FEAR OF IT.

I CAN TELL YOU WHAT'S HAPPENED, IT IS TRUE THAT SOME COMPANIES ARE STARTING TO IMPLEMENT THESE POLICIES.

AND THEY'RE SEEING HOW GREAT IT IS.

A LOT OF OTHER COMPANIES HAVEN'T HEARD ABOUT THIS.

THE NUMBER ONE THING TO KNOW IS I DON'T THINK THIS SHOULD BE UP TO COMPANIES.

THE BEST SYSTEM WE CAN HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS IS A PAID FAMILY LEAVE SYSTEM WHICH IS PUBLIC.

AND THAT EXISTS --

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, A NATIONAL FINDING LAW?

ABSOLUTELY.

IT'S NOT REQUIRED BUSINESSES TO TAKE A PENNY.

IT TAKES PRESSURE OFF BUSINESSES.

I DON'T BELIEVE BUSINESSES SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY YOU WHEN --

WHO WOULD PAY?

CALIFORNIA, NEW JERSEY, RHODE ISLAND, THERE'S A SMALL PAYROLL DEDUCTION THAT EMPLOYEES PAY INTO TO CREATE A FUND --

EMPLOYEES, NOT EMPLOYERS?

RIGHT NOW IT'S EMPLOYEES.

THERE'S A NATIONAL LAW ON THE TABLE, THE FAMILY ACT, THAT WOULD BE EQUAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS.

IN THESE THREE STATES WHEN YOU GET FAMILY LEAVE, TO CARE FOR A CHILD, TO CARE FOR AN ELDERLY PARENT, A SPUS ARE SPOUSE, FOR YOURSELF, YOU GET PAID LEAVE UP TO SIX WEEKS IN THESE STATES AND IS GREAT NEWS IS BUSINESSES ARE LOVING IT.

THERE WERE ALL NAYSAYERS SAYING IT WILL KILL JOBS, HURT THE ECONOMY.

THE HARD FACTS ARE IN.

THE RESULTS ARE IN.

THEY'RE IN MY BOOK, A ALL IN.'

THE FACT IS IT'S WORKING OUT SO WELL THAT THE GROUPS OPPOSING IT BEFOREHAND HAVE GONE SILENT.

WHEN I SAY, AS I DID MENTION, THAT COMPANIES LIKE FACEBOOK, NETFLIX, MICROSOFT, ARE CHANGING THEIR PATERNAL LEAVE POLICY, THAT'S MAKING A DIFFERENCE?

YES.

SO A LAW WOULD BE GOOD BUT IF BIG COMPANIES KEEP DOING IT, IT CREATES A TREND, RIGHT?

IT DOES.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THESE COMPANIES ARE DOING IT FOR GOOD BOTTOM LINE REASONS.

AND THERE ARE SOME SMALL COMPANIES AS WELL.

18-EMPLOYEE BUSINESS IN MY BOOK THAT GIVES ITS EMPLOYEES THREE MONTHS OF PAID LEAVE.

AND I ASKED THE HEAD OF IT, WHY WOULD YOU POSSIBLY DO THAT?

SHE SAID, IT'S GOOD FOR OUR BUSINESS.

SO THE NUMBERS ARE THERE TO DEMONSTRATE THIS FOR OTHER BUSINESSES.

RIGHT NOW A LOT OF PEOPLE DROP OUT OF THE WORKFORCE OR LEAVE COMPANIES.

IT CAN COST UP TO 200% OF ANNUAL SALARY TO REPLACE AN EMPLOYEE.

WITH PAID LEAVE, THEY COME BACK, YOU DON'T HAVE TO REPLACE THEM, THE NUMBERS ARE IN YOUR FAVOR.

THE TREND HAS BEEN GOING BACKWARDS THE.

BIG COMPANIES ARE TALKING ABOUT LEAVE BUT OVERALL THE LAST FEW YEARS THE AMOUNT OF PATERNITY LEAVE OFFERED IN AMERICA HAS DECREASED.

WE REALLY HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST THE TREND RIGHT NOW.

FOR YOU'RE VIEWERS, INDIVIDUALS, WHAT CAN THEY DO TO CHANGE THIS CULTURE?

IT'S SO INTERESTING.

IN THIS BOOK, MY AGENT AND MY PUBLISHERS AT HARPER COLLINS THEY SAID, WE NEED STATS.

AT THE END OF CHAPTERS GIVE ME STATS, STEPS 1 THROUGH 5, 1 THROUGH 10.

HOW TO DO THESE.

HERE'S HOW TO APPROACH YOUR BUSINESS LIKE I DID AT CNN.

TOTALLY IN SILENCE.

WORKING WITH THEM SAYING, I'M SURE THIS IS OVERSIGHT, LET'S FIX THE POLICY.

UNTIL YOU SUED THEM.

EXACTLY, WHEN THEY WOULDN'T DO IT FOR MONTHS.

I HAD MY FOUR-POUND PREEMIE DAUGHTER AND VERY SICK WIFE AND I STILL COULDN'T GET THE LEAVE.

THAT'S THE LAST RESORT, RIGHT?

BUT THERE ARE ALL THESE STEPS THAT YOU CAN TAKE TO WORK POSITIVELY, BRING INFORMATION TO YOUR BUSINESS.

I ENDURING PEOPLE TO TALK TO THEIR LAWMAKERS.

THIS SHOULD BE A NONPARTISAN ISSUE.

LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN NATIONALLY.

CNN CHANGED ITS POLICIES.

IT REVOLUTIONIZED THE POLICY.

THEY WILL TELL YOU IT IS A WIN-WIN.

BEFORE A DAD COULD ONLY GET TWO WEEKS, NOW SIX WEEKS.

AS A RESULT OF THIS CHANGE MOMS WHO GIVE BIRTH NOW GET MORE TIME THAN THEY USED TO AS WELL.

AND THEY WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING THAT I'LL TELL YOU.

IT'S BETTER BUSINESS.

ALL RIGHT, JOSH, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

IT IS GREAT TO BE HERE, THANK YOU.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS ISSUE?

DO-DADS DESERVE MORE TIME OFF?

TWEET US AT 'METROFOCUS' AND LET US KNOW.

WITH THE HOLIDAYS COMING UP IT'S THE SEASON OF GIVING AND SPENDING.

HOW DO YOU GIVE AND SPEND WITHOUT GETTING SCAMMED?

AND WITHOUT GOING OVER BUDGET?

NEW YORK CITY CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER JULIE MENNEN IS HERE NOW TO TELL US JUST HOW WE CAN DO THAT.

COMMISSIONER, NICE TO SEE YOU.

GREAT TO SEE YOU.

I WANT TO TALK LATER ABOUT ALL THE SERVICES THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT OFFERS BUT LET'S START WITH TWO SPECIFICS HERE ABOUT GIVING AND SPENDING IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON.

AND A MAJOR CONCERN FOR EVERYBODY, INCLUDING THE DEPARTMENT, IS THE NOTION OF SCAMS AND FRAUDS.

YES.

WHAT SHOULD WE BE LOOKING OUT FOR THAT CAN HELP US PROTECT OURSELVES FROM SCAMS AND FRAUDS?

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS.

FIRST OF ALL, BAIT AND SWITCH.

A CERTAIN PRODUCT IS ADVERTISED, YOU GO INTO THE STORE, THEY TRY TO SELL YOU A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PRODUCT.

IF THAT HAPPENS, PLEASE CALL US.

WE CAN INTERVENE.

ANOTHER BIG SCAM WE SEE ARE SALES.

FIRST OF ALL, IF A SALE IS LISTED THE STORE MUST ACTUALLY SHOW THE PRESALE PRICE PROMINENTLY.

THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT.

MANY STORES OFFER A GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE OR A LIQUIDATION SALE.

THOSE NEED TO BE REGISTERED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS.

SO IF YOU SEE ONE OF THOSE IN AN ADVERTISEMENT AND YOU'RE THINKING OF GOING, GIVE US A CALL FIRST AND WE CAN TELL YOU IF IT'S LEGITIMATE.

THOSE ARE SOME OF THE SCAMS WE SEE AT HOLIDAY TIMES.

THE OTHER ONE IS IF YOU BUY A GOOD AND THEY SAY THEY'RE GOING TO DELIVER IT IN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME, MAKE SURE TO GET THAT IN WRITING.

IT'S SO IMPORTANT.

BECAUSE WE CONSTANTLY SEE STORES THAT ARE SAYING, WILL DELIVER IN SEVEN DAYS, AND MONTHS LATER THE CONSUMER DOESN'T HAVE THE GOODS BUT THEY HAVE NO EVIDENCE OF THAT.

YOU MENTIONED TO CALL YOU.

I WOULD SUSPECT THAT MOST FOLKS OUT THERE, THEY WALK INTO A STORE, THEY GET A BAIT AND SWITCH, OR THEY'RE TOLD IT'S A SALE AND DOESN'T TURN OUT TO BE A SALE, MOST FOLKS WOULD THINK, IT'S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT.

I DON'T HAVE TO BUY HERE, I CAB LEAVE.

YOU'RE SAYING THERE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT?

ABSOLUTELY, THAT'S WHERE WE COME INTO PLAY, DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS IS THERE TO HELP CONSUMERS WHEN 37 BEEN DEFRAUDED.

WE'LL GET INVOLVED, WE'LL MEDIATE THE COMPLAINT, WE'LL GET YOU YOUR MONEY BACK.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT WE TELL ALL CONSUMERS IS PLEAT GET A COPY OF THE RECEIPT.

FOR GOODS IN EXCESS OF $20, THE STORE MUST GIVE YOU A RECEIPT.

BETWEEN $5 AND $20, ON REQUEST THEY HAVE TO GIVE YOU A RECEIPT.

IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO GET THOSE KINDS OF MATERIALS.

BECAUSE THAT HELPS US DO OUR JOB BETTER.

LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME SPECIFIC AREAS OF GIVING AND SPENDING DURING THE HOLIDAYS.

AND WE HEAR HOW MUCH MORE IS BEING DONE ONLINE.

WE ALSO CONSTANTLY HEAR HOW DANGEROUS IT CAN BE IN TERMS OF IDENTITY THEFT GOING ON, ONLINE.

WHAT ARE TIPS YOU'D OFFER FOR CONSUMERS?

FIRST OF ALL WE TELL ALL CONSUMERS, DO NOT USE A PUBLIC COMPUTER TO PUT IN SENSITIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION.

THAT'S SO IMPORTANT.

MAKE SURE YOU'RE USING A SECURE SERVER.

ALSO CONSTANTLY CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS.

CERTAINLY DON'T USE A BIRTHDAY, A CHILD'S NAME, SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE CAN EASILY DISCERN AS YOUR PASSWORD.

IF YOU'VE BEEN A VICTIM GIVE US A CALL.

WE RUN 30 FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT CENTERS AROUND THE CITY, WE CAN INTERVENE.

ANOTHER THING TO DO IS EVERY CONSUMER IS ENTITLED TO A FREE CREDIT REPORT, ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT.

REALIZE YOU'RE ENTITLED TO THAT AND IT'S FREE.

IT'S FREE, YOU'RE ENTITLED TO IT, CHECK IT'S A YEARLY BASIS.

FREQUENTLY THERE WILL BE MISTAKES IN THE CREDIT REPORT, PEOPLE WON'T KNOW THAT, IT WILL DAMAGE THEIR CREDIT AND CAN DAMAGE IT PERMANENTLY IF THOSE MISTAKES AREN'T QUICKLY CORRECTED.

ONE OF THE THINGS YOU DO, AND I'M KIND OF SURPRISED, IS CREDIT COUNSELING.

HOW DO YOU GET CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE AND YOUR PUTTING, AND SPECIFICALLY IN TERMS OF HOLIDAY SHOPPING.

BECAUSEI THINK EVERYBODY'S BEEN IN THE SITUATION YOU'RE STILL GETTING BILLS IN THE SUMMERTIME THAT YOU'RE PAYING OFF FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CONSUMERS TO PROTECT THEM AGAINST -- IN A SENSE PROTECT THEM AGAINST THEMSELVES?

WE RUN OFFICE OF FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT WHICH IS ACTUALLY THE FIRST MUNICIPAL AGENCY IN THE COUNTRY THAT HELPS PEOPLE IN DEBT.

WE RUN 30 FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT CENTERS.

NEW YORKERS IN DEBT CAN COME TO US, THEY CAN BRING ALL THEIR BILLS, WE HELP TO CREATE A BUDGET, WE HELP TO LOWER THEIR DEBT, IMPROVE THEIR CREDIT SCORES, AND FOR ANYONE WHO'S UNBANK AND THE WE HAVE ABOUT 800,000 UNBANKED NEW YORKERS RIGHT NOW, WE OFFER BANKING PRODUCTS.

SO IT'S THROUGH OUR FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT CENTERS WE HELP PEOPLE MANAGE THEIR DEBT.

PARTICULARLY AROUND HOLIDAY TIMES IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE A BUDGET.

WE URGE NEW YORKERS TO COME IN, SEE US, MEET WITH TRAINED FINANCIAL COUNSELORS, WE'LL HELP CREATE THAT BUDGET BY LOOKING AT THEIR EXPENSES AND MAKING SURE PEOPLE DON'T OVERSPEND.

WE URGE CONSUMERS WHERE POSSIBLE TO UTILIZE CASH AS OPPOSED TO CREDIT CARDS.

IT CAN KEEP YOU ON BUDGET.

LET'S TALK MORE HERE BEFORE WE LEAVE YOU FOR THE DAY.

ABOUT THE VARIOUS SERVICES.

I WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU, I DON'T LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY, I LIVE IN NEW JERSEY, BUT I THOUGHT I WAS FAMILIAR WITH MOST OF THE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES HERE.

AND I WAS VERY MUCH SURPRISED BY HOW MANY DIFFERENT SERVICES, CONSUMER SERVICES, FREE CONSUMER SERVICES, THAT THE DEPARTMENT OFFERS.

TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT YOU PROVIDE FOR PEOPLE.

WE ARE THE LARGEST MUNICIPAL CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY IN THE COUNTRY.

WE'RE BOTH A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN THAT WE HAVE SUBPOENA POWERS, BUT ONE OF THE SERVICES WE OFFER IS IF PEOPLE FEEL THAT THEY HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED WE OBVIOUSLY CAN MEDIATE CONSUMER COMPLAINTS.

IF IT'S A LARGER-SCALE MATTER WE WILL BEGIN A LEGAL INVESTIGATION.

FOR EXAMPLE, WE'RE CURRENTLY INVESTIGATION A NUMBER OF FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES.

115 VARIOUS EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES WHO ARE SCAMMING NEW YORKERS.

DEBT COLLECTORS.

WE BOTH LICENSE THEM AND WE DO ACTIVE INVESTIGATIONS OF THEM.

ANOTHER FUNCTION WE PERFORM IS WE LICENSE.

WE LICENSE OVER 80,000 BUSINESSES IN NEW YORK CITY.

AND THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE, FOR EXAMPLE, WE LICENSE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS.

SO IF SOMEONE IS GOING TO HIRE A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR, PLEASE FIRST CHECK IF THEY'RE LICENSED.

GIVE US A CALL.

CHECK ONLINE.

BECAUSE WE REALLY WANT TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE NOT USING UNLICENSED HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS.

WE ALSO ENFORCE A NUMBER OF LABOR LAWS.

PAID SICK LEAVE, LIVING WAGE, COMMUTER BENEFITS.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A CITY DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WE'RE THE ENFORCER AND IMPLEMENTER OF IMPORTANT LABOR-RELATED LAWS.

THEN, OF COURSE, WE RUN THE OFFICE OF FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT.

WE HELP LOW-INCOME NEW YORKERS WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH DEBT.

WE HAVE THEM WITH BANKING NEEDS, CREDIT SCORE ISSUES.

THESE ARE SOME OF THE MANY SERVICES WE PERFORM AT THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS.

HOPEFULLY OUR VIEWERS HERE HAVE LEARNED SOME THINGS INCLUDING THE EXISTENCE OF THE DEPARTMENT.

WHAT YOU CAN GO FOR THEM.

COMMISSIONER MENNEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME TODAY.

FOR MORE TIPS ON HOW TO KEEP YOUR MONEY SAFE FOR THE HOLIDAYS VISIT OUR WEBSITE, METROFOCUS.ORG.

> WEIN ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES IN THE WORLD.

AND IT'S GETTING EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE AS HOUSING PRICES SURGE ACROSS THE CITY.

THIS PAST QUARTER IN MANHATTAN, THE MEDIAN PRICE JUMPED 12% COMPARED TO THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR.

JUST UNDER $1 MILLION.

IN BROOKLYN IT JUMPED 28% FROM ALMOST $500,000 TO OVER $600,000.

IS THIS THE STATUS QUO?

OR CAN YOU FIND A DEAL IN THE CITY?

HERE TO ANSWER ALL OF OUR QUESTIONS IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE LARGEST RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE FIRM IN THE CITY, PAMELA LEADMAN OF CORKMAN GROUP REAL ESTATE, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

MY PLEASURE.

RECORD-BREAKING HOME COSTS FOR THE THIRD QUARTER, WHAT'S THE CAUSE?

NEW YORK CITY HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN EXCITING PLACE FOR REAL ESTATE.

SO MANY PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE HERE.

BUT OVER TIME, THE DEMAND AMONGST BUYERS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE HAVE INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY.

SO NOW IT'S NOT JUST YOUR BORN AND BRED NEW YORK HOARSE WANT TO STAY HERE.

IT'S PEOPLE FROM THE SUBURBS, FOREIGN BUYERS, AND SO MANY CHINESE BUYERS THAT NOW WANT TO CALL NEW YORK HOME OR SOMEBODY WHO HAS MULTIPLE HOMES.

SO WE JUST SEE AN INFLUX OF ALL DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUYERS THAT HAVE HELPED DRIVE UP THESE PRICES IN MANHATTAN AND BROOKLYN.

WHICH USED TO BE ONE OF THE MORE AFFORDABLE BOROUGH WHAT'S GOING ON THERE?

BROOKLYN IS HOT.

WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT BROOKLYN AS THE HIP PLACE TO GO FOR QUITE A WHILE NOW.

AND SO AS BROOKLYN BECAME MORE AND MORE IN DEMAND, NOT JUST A PLACE TO GOO IF YOU COULDN'T AFFORD MANHATTAN, IT'S FOUND ITS OWN IDENTITY.

SO MANY NEIGHBORHOODS HAVE JUST HAD THEIR PRICES INCREASE BECAUSE OF THIS.

WHETHER IT'S BROOKLYN HEIGHTS OR PARK SLOPE OR COBBLE HILL OR WILLIAMSBURG.

ALL THESE ARE AREAS NOW THAT PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN AND THEY'VE DRIVEN UP THE PRICES.

IN ORDER TO GET GOOD DEALS IN BROOKLYN YOU HAVE TO GO TO SOUTH BROOKLYN.

ARE WE LOOKING AT THE SAME SITUATION FOR RENTERS AS WELL AS BUYERS?

I HATE TO SAY IT FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT THERE LOOKING FOR A RENTAL NOW, IT'S ALSO VERY HIGH.

WE'RE ALMOST AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH FOR RENTAL PRICES.

WHICH ALSO HAS THROWN A LOT OF PEOPLE INTO THE MARKET FOR SALES.

WHEN THEY SEE WHAT THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR A RENTAL, THEY THINK TO THEMSELVES, WELL, MAYBE I SHOULD JUST BUY SOMETHING.

MORTGAGE RATES ARE SO LOW.

IT'S A WAY TO GET IN THE GAME.

GET SOME APPRECIATION ALONG THE WAY.

AND HOPEFULLY MAKE SOME MONEY AND CONTINUE CONTINUOUSLY TRADE UP IN APARTMENT LIFE.

WE HEAR ABOUT HIGH REAL ESTATE COSTS.

IS ANY PART OF IT HYPE?

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

I'LL TELL YOU WHY.

EVERYBODY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THE REALLY EXPENSIVE DEAL.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL THE DEALS DONE IN MANHATTAN LAST YEAR, THE MAJORITY OF THEM, THE VAST MAJORITY, ARE UNDER $1 MILLION.

HOWEVER, THERE ARE A LOT OF DEALS IN THE STRATOSPHERE THAT BRING UP THAT AVERAGE PRICE.

YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED TO KNOW IN ALL OF MANHATTAN AND BROOKLYN THERE WERE ONLY 42 DEALS THAT WERE TRANSACTED ABOVE $20 MILLION.

IT'S JUST THAT THOSE OF THE SEXY DEALS, THE ONES EVERYONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT.

THE REALITY IS A LOT OF APARTMENTS UNDER $1 MILLION.

SO LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE PLACES WHERE YOU CAN GET A LITTLE BIT MORE OF AN AFFORDABLE KEEL AND MERE VALUE.

UPPER MANHATTAN IS A GREAT PLACE TO CONSIDER.

EAST HARLEM, UPPER MANHATTAN, IS WONDERFUL.

IT'S A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD.

FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T THOUGHT OF GOING THAT FAR NORTH IT'S A NICE PLACE TO EXMORE.

THIS IS AN APARTMENT AT THE ART HOUSE ECONOMIC.

US WHAT NICE IS IT HAS ALL THE AMENITIES OF WHAT YOU WOULD FIND IN A MORE EXPENSIVE NEIGHBORHOOD.

THIS IS A ONE BEDROOM, ONE BATH APARTMENT, FREIGHT VIEWS, NICE LIGHT, $620,000.

WE SEE THAT THIS COULD BE CONSIDERED QUITE A NICE VALUE FOR SOMEBODY.

IF WE WERE TO GO TO BROOKLYN, MIDWOOD AS A NEIGHBORHOOD WE LOVE.

LIGHTHOUSE ECONOMIC, YOU GET SOME OUTDOOR SPACE, YOU HAVE REALLY NICE FLOOR TO CEILING WINDOWS.

THIS IS A TWO BEDROOM, TWO PATH.

IT HAS A VERY LARGE LIVING ROOM.

AND THIS IS PRICED AT $675,000.

YOU GET A NICE COMMON ROOF DECK HERE WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE REALLY APPRECIATE.

BECAUSE AT THIS PRICE RANGE YOU MAY NOT BE RUNNING TO YOUR HOUSE IN THE HAMPTONS SO IT'S NICE TO HAVE RIGHT IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD.

IN NEW YORK OUR BACKYARD IS UPSTAIRS.

THIS GREAT AMENITY.

WE LOVE THIS.

MID-LEVEL RANGE WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT?

STAY IN BROOKLYN AND LET'S GO TO DUMBO DOWN UNDER THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE, AN AREA THAT HAS REALLY EXPLODED IN THE PAST EIGHT YEARS.

VERY CLOSE TO MANHATTAN.

FANTASTIC VIEWS.

THIS IS AT 100 J, THE J CONDOMINIUMS.

THIS APARTMENT IS ALMOST 1,200 SQUARE FEET.

IT'S ABOUT $1.6 MILLION.

TWO BEDROOMS, TWO BATHS, WELL LAID OUT, ALL HIGH-END FINISHES.

WE THINK THIS WOULD BE A PRETTY GOOD DEAL TOO IF YOU WERE WILLING TO SPEND A LITTLE BIT MORE MONEY AND YOU WANTED TO STAY IN BROOKLYN.

IN MANHATTAN?

LET'S HEAD TO ONE OF THE HIPPEST, HOTTEST NEIGHBORHOODS THAT EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT, THE HIGH LINE.

WHAT A GREAT ADDITION TO NEW YORK CITY.

IF YOU HAVEN'T WALKED THE HIGH LINE IT'S SOMETHING YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE DID DO.

THIS APARTMENT IS 420 WEST 25th STREET.

IT'S ONE BLOCK FROM THE HIGH LINE.

IT'S PRICED AT $2.1 MILLION.

IT HAS TWO BEDROOMS, TWO BATHS, IT'S ON A CORNER SO IT HAS NICE VIEWS.

VERY GOOD AMENITIES AS WELL.

THERE'S A FULLY EQUIPPED GYM, A 5,000 SQUARE FOOT LANDSCAPED ROOF TERRACE THAT HAS A SPA AND OUTDOOR SHOWER.

WE THINK THIS IS A PRETTY FUN PLACE TO LIVE.

HAVING 5,000 SQUARE FEET OF AMENITIES ON THE ROOF IS A NICE TOUCH.

AND GO AHEAD AND TEASE US.

WHAT ARE THE BIG, SEXY --

THE TROPHIES?

YES, THE TROPHIES.

SO THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST TROPHIES IN THE ENTIRE CITY, IN BROOKLYN, 3 PIERPONT PLACE.

THIS IS A VERY, VERY FAMOUS HOUSE.

IT'S THE KIND OF PLACE THAT AS YOU WALK BY PEOPLE ARE STANDING THERE POINTING SAYING, WHAT IS THAT?

THIS HOME IS PRICED AT $40 MILLION.

IT IS THE FORMER HOME OF THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY.

IT'S CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE GRANDEST RESIDENCES IN ALL OF NEW YORK.

IT IS 17,354 SQUARE FEET.

SO THERE'S PLENTY OF ROOM TO BRING YOUR FRIENDS.

AS A MATTER OF FACT, THERE'S 16 BEDROOMS AND 50 ROOMS ALTOGETHER.

16 BATHROOMS.

IT'S QUITE A PLACE.

RIGHT NOW IT'S CONFIGURED AS EIGHT APARTMENTS.

BUT WE HAVE HAD PLENTY OF PEOPLE COME THROUGH HERE AND TALK ABOUT CONVERTING THIS INTO A FANTASTIC MANSION.

AND IT'S RIGHT ON THE WATER.

THE VIEWS ARE SPECTACULAR.

ONE MORE TROPHY?

ONE MORE.

THIS IS A VERY WELL-KNOWN APARTMENT.

IT'S GOTTEN ITS SHARE OF PRESS BECAUSE IT'S OWNED BY A VERY FAMOUS DESIGNER.

IT IS CALLED THE DOME PENTHOUSE AT THE PLAZA HOTEL.

IT IS ASKING $75 MILLION.

IT'S VERY SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE OF THE WAY IT WAS BUILT ORIGINALLY.

THE CEILING HEIGHTS, THE DETAIL THROUGHOUT THE APARTMENT.

THIS IS WHERE ELOISE HAD BREAKFAST IN THE DOME ROOM OF THE PLAZA.

AND THE ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS ARE IN THERE.

AS YOU CAN SEE, FABULOUS.

WOW.

I THINK THAT WILL BE MY NEXT HOME, OBVIOUSLY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

MY PLEASURE.

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Funders

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