SCAMMED OUT OF HOME

January 12, 2019 at 4:45 am

Forced foreclosures, deed fraud, and the city’s third party transfer program are being blamed for scamming hundreds of New Yorkers out of their homes. We have an investigation into what’s happening and why.

Aired on January 11, 2019.

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>> IT'S NO SECRET THAT
GENTRIFICATION AND SKY ROCKETING
PROPERTY VALUES ARE COSTING NEW
YORKERS HOMES.
BUT IN A NEW TWIST, THE CITY
THIRD PARTY TRANSFER PROGRAM
SUPPOSED TO HELP STRUGGLING HOME
OWNERS IS BEING BLAMED FOR
PROPERTY TAKEOVERS LONGSIDE
FORCED FORECLOSURES AND DEED
FRAUD.
THAT AT LEAST IS WHAT KOUMALASY
ROBERT CORN CORNEGY AND ERIK
ADAMS CLAIMED AFTER A SPIKE IN
CALLERS COMPLAINING ABOUT THE
PROBLEM.
HERE A LOOK AT A RECENT REPORT
BY PIXIE LEVITT NEWS REPORTER
JOES MASIRE.
>> I BOUGHT THE MOUSE IN 2004.
>> VAUGHN VAN WALK ARE CAN'T GO
BACK TO HIS HOME IN BED-STUY
BECAUSE HE LIKELY WOULD GET
ARRESTED DESPITE HAVING THE
PROPERTY AND NORJ IN HIS NAME HE
SAYS MARSHALLS IBT EVICTED HIS
FAMILY OVER THE SUMMER.
>> YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT WAS
CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.
IMEMBARRASSED ABOUT THAT TOO.
>> WALKER SAYS EVEN THOUGH HIS
HOME WAS NEVER NOERKZED ON THE
COURT ORDER HIM TO SELL THE PRO
ARE THE TO PAY OVERDUE FEES BUT
HE SAID IF IT HASN'T BEEN FOR
$40,000 SPEND DEFENDING HIS HOME
THAT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN A
PROBLEM.
>> THE MONEY I SUPINE ON LEGAL
FEES I COULD HAVE BEEN CAUGHT
UP.
>> THERE NEEDS TO BE A
MORATORIUM ON TAKING HOUSES FROM
HOME OWNERS UNTIL WE CAN MAKE
SURE SOMETHING IS NOT UNETHICAL,
ILLEGAL OR IMMORAL.
>> BUROUGH PRESIDENT ERIK ERIC
ADAMS HAS HEARD DOZENS OF
SIMILAR STORES.
HOME OWNERS IN RAPIDLY
GENTRIFIED JAIRS LACK LIKE
BED-STUY FORCED OUT IN THE BY
FORECLOSURE, DEED FRAUD OR THE
CITY THIRD PARTY TRANSFER
PROGRAM.
>> WE BELIEVE WHEN YOU HAVE
SOMETHING OF THIS MAGNITUDE THAT
CAN BE A LARGE NUMBER OF BLACK
AND BROWN HOME OWNERS USE LOSING
THEIR HOMES WHEN THE DUST
SETTLES WE CAN'T LOOK BACK AND
SAY, WOW WE SHOULD HAVE PAID
ATTENTION TO IT.
>> WHICH IS WHY ADAMS AND CITY
KOUMDS ROBERT CORNEGY CALL FOR A
STOP ON ALL PROPERTY SEIZURES
PENDING FEDERAL, STATE AND CITY
INVESTIGATIONS FOR ITS PART THE
CITY OFFICE PRODUCE HOUSING
PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
RUNNING THE TPT PROGRAM SAYS
IT'S UNFAIR TO LUMP IT IN WITH
ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES SCAMMING
PEOPLE OUT OF HOMES.
>> JOINING US NOW IS JOE MASERI.
>> WELCOME.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ZBLEE JOE,
ELABORATE, PLEASE, WHY ARE
VULNERABLE NEW YORKERS LIKE BEN
WORK WHICH SAW LAWSING
HOMESTEAD.
>> AS YOU HEAR IT'S THREE
SCENARIOS THAT THE COUNCILMEMBER
ROBERT CORNEGY AND THE ERIK
ADAMS WERE TARRING.
TPT, THE THIRD PARTY TRPS.
FORCED FORECLOSURES AND DEED
FRAUD.
USUALLY FALL INTO ONE OF THOSE
THREE CATEGORIES.
>> EXPLAIN A BIT ABOUT WHAT IS
FORCED FORECLOSURE?
AND DEED FRAUD?
>> ALL RIGHT SO I THINK ACTUALLY
IT'S BEST IF WE START WITH TPT.
>> OKAY.
>> BECAUSE THEY FOLLOW FROM ONE
ANOTHER.
>> OKAY.
>> TPT IS THE CITY'S THIRD PARTY
TRANSFER PROGRAM.
THE GOAL IS TO HELP TENANTS.
THAT'S THE PRIORITY.
USUALLY DEALING WITH APARTMENT
ABDOMINALBLOODS WRP THE LANDLORD
HAS BEEN NEGLECTFUL BACKUP.
BUT IN THIS CASE AND WHAT
SPARKED THE ATTENTION OF THE
COUNCILMEMBER AND THE BUREAU
PRESIDENT WAS THE FACT THAT WE
TALK ABOUT BROWNANTS IN BROOKLYN
TWO OR THREE FAMILY HOMES AND
HOME OWNERS WHO HAD LOST THEIR
HOME BECAUSE OF THE CITY'S THIRD
PARTY TRANSFER PROGRAM.
SINCE THEY BACKTRACKED A BIT
ROBERT CORNEGY HAS SAID HE
LOOKED INTO THE PROGRAM AND HE
HAS MORE FAITH IN IF NOW THAN
PREVIOUSLY.
>> WHAT ABOUT BROCK LYNN BUROUGH
PRESIDENT ADAMS IS HE POINTING A
FINGER AT TPT.
>> YES BECAUSE HIS MAIN CONCERN
IS GENERATIONAL WEALTH.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE HOMES
THEY KAI ROCKETED IN VALUE WE
KNOW IN THE GENTRIFICATION AND
THE INCREASED POPULARITY IN
BROCK BROOKLYN NEIGHBORHOODS BUT
WHEN A HOME OWNER HAS SEVERAL
THOUSAND IN BECOME TAXES THAT
ARE DUE TO THE CITY, OFTEN TIMES
ANY CAN'T AFFORD THE UPKEEP OF
THE PROPERTY.
SO WHAT THE CITY IS DOING, THE H
P. D.
>> WHAT IS HTD STANDS FOR
HOUSING PRESERVATION AND
DEVELOPMENT.
THEY TAKE THE PROPERTY TRANSFER
TO A THIRD PARTY WHICH IS MEANT
TO REHAB THE BUILDING GET IT IN
THE BEST CONDITION POSSIBLE AND
THEN PRESERVE AFFORD ABILITY OF
THAT HOUSING.
WE KNOW ABOUT THE AFFORD ABILITY
HOUSING CRISIS GOING ON IN NEW
YORK CITY RIGHT NOW.
ONE MISCONCEPTION WAS THE HOME
OWNERS WERE KICKED OUT OF HOMES.
>> RIGHT.
>> THEY ARE ALLOWED TO STAY IN
HOMES AT AN AFFORDABLE RATE.
HOWEVER THEY DO LOSES OWNERSHIP
OF HOME.
AND THAT WAS THE MAIN -- THAT IS
THE MAIN CONCERN OF THE BUROUGH
PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW.
>> SO -- SO GENTRIFICATION THE
ORIGINAL SIN OF IN PROBLEM?
IS IT THE FIRST CAUSE?
>> I THINK THAT IT DEFINITELY
ATTRACTS A LOT MORE ATTENTION
WHEN THE PROPERTY VALUES SKY
ROCKET.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
GENTRIFICATION DOES IS IT RAISES
RENTS MANY OF THE PEOPLE ARE
PAYING PROCESS.
>> RIGHT.
>> TPT COMES IN AND THEY TRY AND
KEEP THE TENANTS.
IF THEY WINK ABOUT THE APARTMENT
BUILDING IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS BY
PRESERVING THE AFFORD ABILITY.
BUT THERE IS INCENTIVE FOR THE
LANDLORDS TO FORCE OUT TENANTS
BY MAKING SURE THE CONDITIONS IN
THE BUILDING DETERIORATE BECAUSE
AS THEY TURNOVER THEY ARE ABLE
TO RAISE RENTS MORE.
A LOT OF IT CAN BE TRACED BACK
TO GENTRIFICATION.
>> HOW EXTENSIVE IS THIS
PROBLEM?
WHY DID IT SEEM TO EXPLODE
AUCHLDS LAST YEAR.
>> SO THE NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS
COMING INTO THE BUROUGH
PRESIDENT'S OFFICE AND THE
COUNCILMEMBER'S OFFICE SEEMED TO
BE EXPLODING BECAUSE I THINK
PEOPLE WERE BECOMING MORE AWARE
OF IT.
WE TALKED ABOUT TPT.
AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT TPT
DOES IS IT HELPS PEOPLE GET OUT
OF DEBT BY GIVING THEM TAX
EXEMPTIONS PUTTING THEM ON
PAYMENT PLANS, FINDING A WAY.
80% OF THE BUILDING GOING INTO
THE TPT PROGRAM WITH MANAGED TO
EXIT BEFORE THEY LOSE THE
OWNERSHIP OFF IT OVER THE
THREE-YEARS THIS PROCESS TAKES.
SO SOME PEOPLE HOWEVER ARE
SKEPTICAL BECAUSE WHEN SOMEONE
IS OFFERING YOU HELP LIKE THAT
IN NEW YORK YOU'RE WORRIED THAT
YOU'RE GETTING SCAMMED.
>> RIGHT.
>> AND THE REASON THEY ARE
WORRIED THEY ARE GETTING SCAMMED
IS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE SCAMMING
WHEN IT COMES TO THAT.
>> SURE.
>> THAT'S WHAT DEED FRAUD IS.
WE HEARD ONE CASE WHERE A COUPLE
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS WERE
OFFERING SOMEBODY HELP AND WHEN
THEY WERE SIGNING ON THE DOTTED
LINE WHAT THEY WERE DO SOMETHING
SIGNING THE DEED OVER TO THEIR
HOME.
IT'S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO TRUST
WHEN SOMEONE IS SAYING I'M HERE
TO HELP YOU GET OUT OF THE HOLE
THAT YOU'RE IN.
>> SO ADAMS AND CORNEGY ARE
CALLING FOR A MORATORIUM ON
PROPERTY SEIZURES UNTIL FLS A
FEDERAL, STATE AND CITY
INVESTIGATION.
HOW LIKELY IS THAT TO HAPPEN.
>> I THINK AT THIS POINT AS FAR
AS THE TPT PROGRAM IS CONCERNED
THERE IS GOING TO BE A A LITTLE
BIT OF DRAWBACK ON THAT.
WE HAVE SEEN IT ALREADY.
WHEN IT COMES TO DEED FRAUD, THE
DISTRICT ATTORNEY IS AWARE OF
THE PROBLEM THAT EXISTS.
THEY HAVE I BELIEVE IT'S ABOUT
20 PROSECUTIONS AND CONVICTIONS
OF DEED FRAUD IN THE LAST FEW
YEARS.
AND THIS PROBLEM REALLY STARTED
IN 2014 SAME TIME THE PROPERTY
VALUES REALLY STARTED TO RISE.
THAT'S WHEN WE SAW MORE OF THIS
HAPPEN.
AS FAR AS THE INVESTIGATION INTO
FORCED FORECLOSURES, I THINK
YOU'RE LIKELY TO SEE THAT.
BECAUSE ONE OF THE CONCERNS AS
YOU HEARD IN THE CASE OF THIS
STORY IS THAT THIS GENTLEMAN HAD
THE MONEY TO PAY THE BACK FEES
ON HIS MORTGAGE.
BUT HE WASN'T AFFORDED THAT
OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE HE HAD TO
USE THAT MONEY FOR LEGAL FEES IN
COURT.
IF THE COURTS OPERATED THE SAME
WAY THAT THE CITY'S OPERATING
WITH THE TPT PROGRAM PUTTING
PEOPLE ON PAYMENT PLANS GIVING
LENIENCY I THINK WE'D SEE LESS
PEOPLE WITH HOMES FORECLOSURED
ON AND ULTIMATE LIP I THINK
THAT'S THE GOAL FOR HOME OWNER.
>> QUICKLY I THINK WE HAVE LESS
THAN ABOUT 30 SECONDS.
IF SOMEONE WATCHING US NOW IS
WORRIED THAT THEY'RE ON THE
VERGE OF LOSING THEIR HOME FOR
ONE OF THESE REASONS WHO SHOULD
ANY CONTACT.
>> THE NUMBER ONE THING THEY
SHOULD DO IS REACH OUT TO THE
DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IF
THEY THINK THEY'VE ALREADY
BECOME A VICTIM.
IF NOT, THE CITY HAS A
NOTIFICATION SYSTEM FOR YOU
WHERE IF ANY CHANGES ARE MADE TO
YOUR PROPERTY YOU WILL BE
NOTIFIED.
THE SAME WAY BANK OF AMERICA
WILL NOTIFY YOU IF THERE IS A
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY ON YOUR
DEBIT CARD, THE CITY WILL DO THE
SAME THING IF FLS SUSPICIOUS
ACTIVITY ON YOUR PROPERTY
RECORDS.
AND YOU SHOULD SIGN UP FOR THAT
RIGHT AWAY TO BE INFORMED.
>> ALL RIGHT, JOE, VERY USEFUL
INFORMATION.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING ZBLOUS
THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> AND FOR SHARING THAT WITH US.

Funders

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