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IN LIGHT OF COVID-19, SUFFOLK COUNTY ANNOUNCES NEW PROCEDURES FOR SCHEDULING FORECLOSURE SALES

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  • Posted on: Oct 19 2020

In keeping with this BLOG’s efforts to keep abreast of court practices and procedures promulgated to address COVID-19 concerns, practitioners should be aware of new foreclosure sale scheduling rules.

By way of background, on July 24, 2020, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks issued Administrative Order 157/20 (“AO 157/20”) [HERE], which became effective on July 27, 2020 and established certain “procedures and protocols [that] apply to the conduct of residential and commercial foreclosure matters before the New York State courts….”  As to foreclosure sales, AO 157/20 provided:

7. Auctions:

a. Continued Suspension of Auctions: No auction or sale of property in any residential or commercial foreclosure matter shall be scheduled to occur prior to October 15, 2020.

b. Assessment of Auction Practices: Prior to September 1 ,2020, the appropriate administrative judge for civil matters in each judicial district shall develop appropriate procedures and protocols for the safe and healthful conduct of such auctions within their districts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In furtherance of AO 157/20, on September 24, 2020, Andrew A. Crecca, District Administrative Judge, Suffolk County, issued “Administrative Order of the Administrative Judge of Suffolk County – Order No. 98-20” (“AO 98-20”) [HERE], which establishes the “process [that] will be used for scheduling and conducting foreclosure auctions in Suffolk County.”

Pursuant to AO 98-20:

1. “In order to schedule a foreclosure sale, Court-appointed Referees in foreclosure matters must contact the Court Fiduciary Office via e-mail at SuffAuctions@nycourts.gov with the proposed details of the foreclosure sale (including the title of action and its index number, the town where the auction is to take place and the requested date and time for the auction) and the Fiduciary Office will either confirm the proposed date, time and place or ask the Referee to re-schedule the sale to prevent multiple auctions from taking place simultaneously at one location.”; and,

2. “The Referees must ensure that any requirements in effect at the time of the sale regarding social distancing and face coverings are complied with by all participants in the foreclosure auction. The Referees shall also ensure that post-sale paperwork and any other interactions relating to the foreclosure sale take place outdoors to the fullest extent possible and, whether these interactions take place outside or inside the Town Hall, the Referees must enforce any requirements in effect at the time regarding social distancing and face coverings. Should a Referee believe the situation to be unsafe or if there is non-compliance with safety protocols, the Referee may, in his/her discretion, cancel or postpone the auction.”

This BLOG was advised that on or about October 15, 2020, the Suffolk County Court Fiduciary Office sent an e-mail to all approved foreclosure Referees advising of the new foreclosure sale procedures.

The “Request For Foreclosure Auction Date” fillable form can be found at 10th Judicial District – Suffolk County website [HERE] and a copy of the form can be found [HERE] as well.

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