NYC Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Foreclosed Homes of Color
A class-action lawsuit asserts that the City of New York illegally foreclosed on hundreds of homeowners’ residences in a program that primarily targeted communities of color.
McConnell Dorce et al. v. City of New York et al.
According to court records, a judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals declared on June 23 that the New York City Foreclosure Class Action Lawsuit against the City of New York and two development corporations could proceed.
The result was a victory for plaintiffs who had previously had their claims dismissed in a lower court.
The New York City Foreclosure Class Action Lawsuit was first filed in 2019 and led by three New Yorkers of color who were evicted from their residences through the City’s Third Party Transfer Program (TPT).
TPT is an inexpensive housing initiative that began in 1996, intending to foreclose vacant housing units with overdue property taxes, repairing them, and renting them to low-income occupants.
Plaintiffs argue that the city violated residents’ federal right of due process when it seized their properties subject to TPT.
However, the program has been criticized for disproportionately affecting communities of color and foreclosing on properties that are not in crisis but simply unpaid property taxes for a fraction of their market value.
New York City’s Plaintiff Dorce Will Fight
Lead Plaintiff McConnell Dorce claims that the city took possession of his Brooklyn building in 2015 and gave it to a developer. He is a retired ambulance driver and an immigrant from Haiti.
He claims his building was enrolled in the program due to a $15,000 water bill for which he had arranged payment. Despite this, Dorce claims he was never informed that his property title was being removed or given an opportunity to address the problem.
Plaintiff’s former property is now believed to be worth around $1 million based on a property appraisal website.
Sherlivia Thomas-Murchison, another plaintiff, was a shareholder of a Brooklyn property.
In her New York foreclosure lawsuit, she claims that she was left homeless with two children when her property shares were taken without payment.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys predict that damages could total in the billions.
Since the lawsuit was filed in 2019, the program has been suspended while an investigation is conducted.
Editor’s Note on New York City Foreclosure Class Action Lawsuit 2021:
This article is written to inform you of the class action lawsuit against New York City, alleging them of illegally foreclosing homes owned by the community of colors.
Case Name & No.: McConnell Dorce et al. v. City of New York et al., Case no. 1:2019cv02216
Jurisdiction: US District Court for the Southern District of New York
Products/Services: Civil Rights
Allegations: The City of New York allegedly illegally foreclosed hundreds of properties owned by communities of color
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