With your support, our nonprofit newsroom drives real impact for you and your community. Keep it all going with a donation to our year-end campaign.
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed into law a bill that aims to give prosecutors more latitude to go after fraudulent real estate transactions — and keep homeowners in their homes.
Sponsored by Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan/Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Helene Weinstein and co-authored by Attorney General Letitia James’ office, the law aims to defend New York homeowners who might be victims of deed theft.
“We are empowering homeowners and law enforcement to fight back against deed theft and keeping families, homes, and communities intact,” Hochul said in a statement.
Deed theft happens when the title to a home is stolen without the homeowner’s approval or knowledge. It can involve forgery, fraud or other tricks. Scammers often target older and nonwhite New Yorkers — especially in gentrifying neighborhoods — and may take advantage of precarious situations, such as the threat of foreclosure.
Victims may lose their homes and see a chief source of generational wealth stripped away, which can perpetuate the racial wealth gap.