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Residential Foreclosure Actions in New York State 2013

Speaker(s): Hon. Judy Harris Kluger (Ret.), Hon. Marguerite A. Grays, Jane M. Azia, Jeffrey Jaffee, Jennifer Sinton, Joseph Parisio, Peter S. Barwick, Richard P. Haber
Recorded on: Feb. 8, 2013
PLI Program #: 42944

Jeff Jaffee is the Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer for CitiMortgage, where he is responsible for CitiMortgage”s relationships with its external stakeholders including regulatory organizations, trade associations and community based organizations. He has over twenty five years experience in mortgage lending, mortgage servicing, CRA and Fair lending Compliance. He recently returned to Citi after 2 years at Saxon Mortgage where he was the VP of Community and Consumer Affairs. In his prior career at Citi, Jeff was the Mortgage Program Director for the Citigroup Consumer Group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He served as the National CRA/ Fair Lending Director for Citigroup in the United States where he was responsible for managing regulatory compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Fair Lending laws. He was also responsible for managing Citigroup's relationships with various community groups interested in community development, mortgage results and lending practices. He was the Mortgage Sales Director for Citibank Florida and the Mid-Atlantic States, a mortgage sales manager in Chicago and Atlanta, and a financial center manager in Florida. Jeff also managed a project to help automate the mortgage sales process in the U.S. mortgage business for CitiMortgage. Prior to joining Citi, Jeff was a foreclosure specialist at AmeriFirst Federal Savings in Florida. Jeff is a 1982 graduate of Georgetown University where he majored in government.

Rich Haber is a Shareholder in the Dallas-based firm Brice, Vander Linden & Wernick, P.C. ("BVW"), and Managing Attorney of the firm's northeast operations (NY, NJ, PA). Rich has worked in default servicing and litigation for the past sixteen years, practicing law for the past eleven. During that time, his practice has focused exclusively on the representation of mortgage servicers in the areas of foreclosure, bankruptcy, eviction, REO and litigation.

Rich worked at Zucker, Goldberg & Ackerman, LLC from 1996-2009, having various job functions with the firm prior to attending and graduating law school.  From 2006 until his departure in 2009, Rich was Managing Attorney of the firm's Litigation and Title Resolution Department, which handled all aspects of contested foreclosures, bankruptcy adversary proceedings, appeals, motion practice, trials, title insurance claims, surplus monies, deficiency actions, replevins, and other default-servicing matters which deviate from routine foreclosure and bankruptcy files. 

In 2009 Rich joined McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP ("MDMC"), a regional full-service firm, and developed a multi-state mortgage servicer litigation practice. In September 2010, while at MDMC, Rich was retained as New Jersey counsel for JPMorgan Chase to address the foreclosure affidavit crisis and spearhead Chase's remediation efforts in the State.  He was thereafter offered an in-house position at Chase to assist in developing its Attorney Oversight Program, and made the move in-house in March 2011. For the year leading up to his return to private practice with BVW in September 2012, Rich managed Chase's relationship with all foreclosure/bankruptcy counsel nationally, including retention and termination of firms, referral volume decisions and law firm training and development.  

Rich is a two-time graduate of Seton Hall University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1998 and Juris Doctorate in 2001. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Law at his alma mater, where he taught Legal Research and Writing to first year law students. Rich frequently speaks on panels and lectures on default servicing matters, and participates in various bar-related committees and working groups. In 2012, the New Jersey Law Journal named him a New Leader of the Bar (formerly known as 40 under 40).

Jennifer Sinton is the Deputy Director of the Foreclosure Prevention Project at South Brooklyn Legal Services. She has been representing homeowners at risk of foreclosure, including in litigation challenging abusive lending and servicing practices, since 2007. Prior to joining SBLS, Ms. Sinton specialized in civil rights litigation for people with HIV, public benefits, and tenant rights. Sinton received her J.D. magna cum laude from Brooklyn Law School and an A.B. from Brown University.


Peter Barwick focuses his practice on structured finance matters, including representing major financial institutions in their roles as trustee, master servicer and issuer in mortgage-backed and asset-backed securitizations. In addition to assisting clients in closing both RMBS and CMBS transactions, he is frequently involved providing assistance in matters that arise in connection with the ongoing administration of such transactions.

Peter received his J.D. in 2001 from Duke University School of Law, where he was a Williams Scholar. He received an M.A.R. in ethics, cum laude, in 1995 from Yale Divinity School, where he was a Carpenter Scholar. Peter received his B.A. in history, magna cum laude, from Amherst College in 1992.

Jane Azia is currently the Chief of the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection in the office of Attorney General Letitia James and has been bureau chief since May 2011.  From April 2007 through April 2011, she served as the Director of Consumer Protection for the New York State Banking Department where she was responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable consumer protection laws and that consumers have access to and receive financial products and services that are fair and not predatory.  Prior to joining the Banking Department, Jane worked for nearly twenty-five years as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York Attorney General’s Consumer and Internet bureaus.  Jane has worked on a wide range of consumer issues, including predatory lending, credit and financial services, advertising, retail sales, health care, insurance, product safety, housing, telecommunications, telemarketing, food and drugs, privacy and online services.  Jane also spent five years as a legal services attorney in Brooklyn and Poughkeepsie.  Jane is a graduate of NYU Law School. 

JOSEPH PARISIO is currently assigned to Honorable Judy Harris Kluger's staff as her Deputy Chief of Staff and as the Statewide Drug Court Coordinator for the New York State Unified Court System.  He began his career in 1982 as a Uniformed Court Officer with the New York City Criminal Court. Over the next 14 years he held the positions of Senior, Associate, and Principal Court Clerk, and finally Court Clerk Specialist working in the Criminal, Civil, Family, and Supreme Courts in New York City. 
In 1996 he became Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the New York City Courts, a position which he still holds in addition to his Drug Court responsibilities.


Hon. Marguerite A. Grays received her undergraduate degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She received her Juris Doctorate from Hofstra University School of Law.

Justice Grays began her legal career as a Staff Attorney at Queens Legal Services, where she  represented indigent clients in the local community. Thereafter, she worked as a Staff Attorney at 1115 Pre-Paid Legal Services. In 1987, her legal career path lead to the Unified Court System where she held the positions of Law Assistant for New York City Civil Court Judge Albert J. Grant and, thereafter, Principal Law Clerk for New York State Supreme Court Justices Joscelyn E. Smith and Frederick D.R. Sampson.
In November 2000, Justice Grays was elected Judge of the New York City Civil Court, Queens County. She served in that capacity until her election in November 2002 to the New York State Supreme Court, Queens County, where she presently sits. In 2005, Justice Grays was selected as one of the first two Justices to preside over the Queens County Commercial Division, which was established in the Fall of that year. Justice Grays is the Presiding Justice of the Queens County Commercial Division.

Justice Grays is Chairperson of the Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts of the Queens Supreme Court, Civil Term; the City Co-Chair of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's Access to Justice Task Force, Simplification Committee, Foreclosure Subcommittee; a member of the Statewide Foreclosure Working Group; a member of the Board of Trustees for the Law Library of Queens County, 11th Judicial District - Supreme Court;  a committee member of the Judicial Hearing Officer Selection Advisory Committee for the Second Department; the Co-Chairperson of the Nominations Committee of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY); and a member of the Queens College Paralegal Advisory Board. She has also held the positions of past President and Board of Director of the Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA); past Chairperson of the Women In the Law Committee and member of the Scholarship Committee for the Queens County Bar Association; and former member of the New York State Lawyer's Assistance Trust Judge Advisory Panel, appointed by former Chief Judge Judith Kaye. Justice Grays was also the first African-American President of the Queens County Women's Bar Association.

Justice Grays is a member of the Queens County Women's Bar Association, the Association of Black Women Attorneys, Queens County Bar Association, the National Association of Women Judges, the New York City Supreme Court Justices Association and the New York State Supreme Court Justices Association.

Since assuming the role of Executive Director at Sanctuary for Families in 2014, Judge Kluger has secured substantial new sources of private and public funding, growing the agency budget from approximately $15 million to a budget of $27 million today. Under Judge Kluger’s leadership, Sanctuary’s Legal Center launched new programs to address the unique needs of college sexual assault survivors seeking Title IX advocacy or legal representation, incarcerated gender violence survivors seeking parole, clemency, and resentencing under the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act and Orthodox Jewish survivors seeking religious and civil divorces. Sanctuary’s innovative Economic Empowerment Program has also expanded, adding a second location at the Manhattan Family Justice Center and introducing new training programs to address skill gaps in a wider array of clients. To better support families on their paths to recovery, Sanctuary’s Clinical Department has implemented a family-focused, evidence-based therapeutic model to help rebuild parent-child relationships.

Beyond programmatic growth, Judge Kluger has fostered structural change within Sanctuary. In 2015, she worked with staff and the Board to develop a five-year strategic plan which has expanded high-need programming, driven impact-focused assessments of services, and advanced Sanctuary’s strategic leadership in the movement to end gender violence through legislative advocacy and community outreach. As the agency grew from 150 to nearly 240 staff, Judge Kluger oversaw the agency’s move to a larger office in downtown Manhattan and implemented agency-wide anti-racism work which includes two-day training workshops for every staff and the creation of a permanent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Prior to joining Sanctuary, Judge Kluger served for 25 years as a judge in New York State. Her last judicial position was as Chief of Policy and Planning for the court system where amongst her responsibilities was oversight of New York State’s 300 problem-solving courts. Judge Kluger’s experience as a judge instills in her a deep knowledge of and commitment to the issues facing Sanctuary’s clients. Over the course of her career, Judge Kluger has been recognized with the New York Women’s Bar Association’s President’s Special Award; the New York Law Journal’s Lawyers Who Lead by Example award; the New York State Bar Association, Excellence in Public Service award; the Lawyer’s Committee against Domestic Violence in the Trenches award; and Sanctuary’s Abely Award for Leading Women and Children to Safety; Fund for Modern Courts 2020 Career Public Service Award.