In order to deal with the shadow docket problem that has occurred in New York State, the New York State Court System has proposed a bill requiring an affirmation and certification at the initiation of the foreclosure lawsuit. The requirement would mandate the attorneys representing the bank or the mortgage company to file a certificate of merit with the complaint, with copies of pertinent financial instruments, including the mortgage, promissory note and assignments that would have to accompany the certificate. There would also be a requirement that the foreclosure action would have to be served within 20 days of filing, and proof of filing must be filed within 60 days. Intentional non-compliance of the requirement could result in dismissal by the court. The law’s goals are two fold: to make sure only meritorious cases are filed with proper documentation, and to assure that once the case is filed, they get to mandatory settlement conferences quickly. The bill is designed to deal with the shadow docket of cases that are filed but never reach the mandatory conference because the current only requires the following of an affirmation during the law suit.
This information is included in Volume 247, number 100 of the New York Law Journal dated May 24, 2012.