Affordable homeownership is the key to maintaining stable, vibrant communities in New York State. For more than a decade, Empire Justice Center has worked to make sure that all New Yorkers have access to responsible, affordable mortgage products, and that their rights are protected if they fall into foreclosure. Empire Justice Center provides direct representation in to homeowners in need of foreclosure prevention services in Rochester, and policy advocacy and analysis in fighting for better and continued protections.
PRESS RELEASE: Applications Being Accepted for Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Fellowship
August 12, 2021
The goal of this prestigious Fellowship is to increase legal advocacy for Greater Rochester’s low-income families in high priority areas that are currently underserved. The Fellowship will be awarded to a dynamic and talented new lawyer beginning a career in the practice of poverty law.
Welcome to the July edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. This is our only summer edition, which we will use to catch up on end of session legislative victories and our summer work. You can read an archived version here.
STATEMENT: Empire Justice Center CEO Kristin Brown Shares Highlights of the 2021 Legislative Session
June 14, 2021
The 2021 legislative session was both challenging and rewarding. Challenging because the pandemic made it harder to organize and interact with colleagues and legislators. Rewarding because we achieved major victories for low-income and marginalized New Yorkers in spite of the challenges.
Nicole Lubell, Esq. has dedicated her career to public service, and brings to Empire Justice Center a strong criminal and civil legal practice background. Ms. Lubell serves as the Foreclosure Prevention Program Manager, as part of the New York State Homeowners Protection Program (“HOPP”). The HOPP program is a New York State Attorney General funded program comprised of legal and housing services organizations that assist homeowners across the state with foreclosure and other housing related issues, to help homeowners stay in their homes.
Before joining Empire Justice Center, Ms. Lubell acted as the Settlement Conference Coordinator for the Nassau County Bar Association’s Mortgage Foreclosure Project. There, she represented Nassau County residents at state-mandated foreclosure settlement conferences, facilitated bi-monthly mortgage foreclosure clinics, recruited, trained, and supervised the project’s volunteer attorneys and acted as liaison between the Nassau County Bar Association, court, and housing agencies. Earlier in her career, Ms. Lubell served as an Assistant Public Defender, representing indigent clients facing criminal matters from arraignment and motion practice through trial. She later gained civil legal experience as an Assistant City Attorney, where she drafted local legislation and municipal contracts, served as police legal advisor, and provided criminal and civil legal counsel to the City Attorney. Ms. Lubell is a published author. Her articles on “zombie” housing and inmate education can be found in The Nassau Lawyer.
Luis E. Ormaechea is a Staff Attorney with the Consumer Finance and Housing Unit in Empire Justice Center's Rochester office. Luis works with low-income homeowners who have been targeted by predatory lenders as well as with those homeowners who are unable to meet current mortgage obligations in an attempt to prevent foreclosure. Luis has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree from New York University, and graduated magna cum laude from the Syracuse University College of Law, where he was on the Syracuse Journal of Science and Technology Law (formerly the Syracuse Science and Technology Law Reporter).
Welcome to the September edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. In this edition we cover our efforts at federal SSI reform, our suit representing school employees in Greece, a sneak preview of our 2022 policy agenda, and an update on the sanctions bill.