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Foreclosure Prevention and Defense: Home is Where the Heart Is

Total Credits
1.5 - 2
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The focus of this CLE is on the original intent of the Homeownership Protection Laws; that is, the intent which forms the bases of fundamental, statutory defenses that are available to practitioners in defending client’s in foreclosure actions, or in advancing homeowner- clients' right under the law to good-faith negotiations in settlement conferences, to achieve a loan modification or other workout whenever possible. The original intent was to either save the home from a foreclosure auction or judgment, or to preserve the clients' rights as the owner of the equity of redemption of the home. With that, for this CLE, we are guided by legislature’s 2008 list of fundamental elements for defense against a foreclosure action, judgment and/or auction.

Lecturer Bio

Yolande I. Nicholson

YolandeI. Nicholson, Esq. A graduate of Columbia University School of Law, Yolande I. Nicholson, Esq. began her legal career in 1990 as a corporate finance attorney in the capital markets group at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton (where she also provided pro bono counsel to many community and economic development groups and causes).

In 1997, Ms. Nicholson went in-house in the legal department at The Chase Manhattan Bank, as part of the capital markets group, where she first served as vice president and assistant general counsel, and then as vice president/global money markets transactions manager at Chase’s investment bank, JPMorgan Securities Inc.

In 2003, as an executive on loan from JPMorgan Securities, she worked with the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC) on restructuring and refinancing BSRC’s primary commercial and affordable-housing assets, and its community development and business partnerships, as part of its turnaround plan. In 2004 to 2006, she served as BSRC’s general counsel and executive vice president. In 2006, Ms. Nicholson returned to corporate finance practice as a senior attorney in the capital markets/financial products group at Clifford Chance. There, she worked on complex, structured finance transactions. In 2009, Ms. Nicholson was named chief counsel to Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns, then Chair of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Ms. Nicholson then served, in 2009 and 2010, as Rep. Towns’ foreclosure constituent case manager for the 10th Congressional District in Brooklyn implementing the federal government’s HAMP program to save homeownership. In 2010, Nicholson began her private legal practice, specializing in foreclosure prevention and defense. Ms. Nicholson has published a number of articles in this area of practice. Ms. Nicholson also conducted training seminars for housing counselors and attorneys on securitization of mortgage laws prior to 2008, and about laws in place to preserve homeownership and advance due process in foreclosure proceedings. In 2011, she pioneered the formation and development of the New York State Foreclosure Defense Bar (NYSFDB). In 2016, NYSFDB initiated legislative amendments to CPLR 3408 (to advance good-faith negotiations between the parties), and, in 2019, supported the enactment of New York Senate Bill 5061 (to affirm the Legislature’s 2008 intent that standing is an essential element in foreclosure actions).

Ms. Nicholson continues to work closely with nonprofit legal providers to ensure that the New York State Legislature’s intent to preserve homeownership and promote community stabilization are adhered to by New York State courts, by New York State court administrators, and by the financial industry entities and private investors seeking foreclosure judgments and auctions, seeking to avoid resolutions under CPLR 3408, or seeking to capture a homeowner’s equity investment and equity in his or her property. Ms. Nicholson is committed to advancing NYSFDB mission.

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