Firm News



On April 1, 2019, the New 2018 New York Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule will go into effect. The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued an Emergency Amendment to Regulation 68.

This resulted in the following action: Only the ground rules that will become applicable to No-Fault providers on April 1, 2019. The increased reimbursement rates for medical services will not be implemented until October 1, 2020. The new fee schedule can be purchased from the official publisher here: The New York Workers’ Compensation fee schedule has traditionally applied to the New York State No-Fault system by operation of Insurance Regulation 83. The recent changes in the new No Fault fee schedule have caused concern to No-Fault practitioners throughout New York State. The Department of Financial Services has issued an emergency adoption of an amendment to the No-Fault regulations regarding this new No-Fault fee schedule. This emergency amendment is officially the Thirty-Fourth Amendment to Part 68 of Title 11 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (Insurance Regulation 83). The emergency amendment to the regulations states clearly that the changes to the amounts that providers can charge for services will not impact the No-Fault system until health care providers bill for services rendered on and after October 1, 2020. See the full post on the NO FAULT UPDATE >>

Supreme Court of the State of New York Count of Westchester – protect their civil & home ownership rights in a residential mortgage foreclosure

The law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP recently participated in the successful defense on behalf of a Westchester County client and homeowner seeking to defend and protect their civil and homeownership rights in a residential mortgage foreclosure lawsuit.     The bank sought to move forward in its quest to auction their home and in the instant proceeding, the bank asked the Court to strike their answer and grant a summary judgment to allow for the appointment of a Referee to compute and to sell their home at auction.  The Licatesi Law Group, LLP defended the case and argued successfully that the civil rights enacted in statutes and case law protected their clients.   The Court found in the record that the bank failed to have sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of material issues as to strict compliance with RPAPR 1304 and its failure to do so requires the denial of the motion.  The Court found that the law protects our New York homeowners and requires evidence of the statutory notice by certified mail and first class mail.     These civil rights are protected by statute and the bank’s failure to evidence such compliance resulted in the denial of the bank’s motion.   Protection of civil rights is a focus for theLicatesi Law Group, LLP   To all of our readers and website visitors: Your bank has attorneys and so should you!

Rubin Licatesi Decision

Licatesi Law Group, LLP, defending a homeowner in a Brooklyn residential mortgage foreclosure action, received a successful determination for the client in the defense of a motion for summary judgment. The Court in its decision also upheld the homeowners’ rights for the protection and preservation of the statutory protections afforded Brooklyn homeowners with regard to pre-foreclosure notices and mailings. When defending a residential mortgage foreclosure lawsuit, theLicatesi Law Group, LLP always stands ready to review, at no charge, the new clients’ case and options for the protection of civil rights in the area of mortgage foreclosure defense. Home retention remains a fundamental right and purpose, with a focus in our firm to provide a level ground against the institutional and bank allegations for auction.

Supreme Court Justice Discharges Homeowner’s Mortgage due to Statue of Limitations

Our law firm represents the plaintiff who brought the instant litigation to cancel and discharge the mortgage lien based upon an acceleration of the mortgage debt followed by the expiration of a six year Statute of Limitations. It was undisputed that no payments were made for more than six years prior to the commencement of the underlying foreclosure action. In this Supreme Court decision, plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment was granted in its entirety and the subject mortgage shall be cancelled and discharged of record.

HSBC v Torres Supreme Court, Westchester County

In a recent decision from the Supreme Court, Westchester County, clients of the law firm sought legal representation to defend a lawsuit seeking the auction of their home and a summary judgment and appointment of a Referee. The home, located in Yonkers, New York, is involved in a residential mortgage foreclosure action. The family’s purchase originated in 2006 with a closing with Wells Fargo Bank and ultimately assigned and managed by a Trust. In this motion, the Trust alleged that it complied with the law and the pre-foreclosure mailing notices required. After consultation with the Licatesi Law Group, LLP and analysis of the facts and arguments, the law firm defended and opposed the request for continuing the auction process and related relief. The Court found that the evidence offered failed to show proof of mailing or the necessary standard office practices to ensure that the civil rights of our homeowners were protected. The pre-foreclosure notices are statutory rights granted to our clients in New York and the potential violation of these laws were topics discussed and raised by the Licatesi Law Group, LLP. The motion for summary judgment was denied and the civil rights and home of the clients of the Licatesi Law Group, LLPwere protected.

Case: Supreme Court, Queens County…. Entered December 22 2016: Wells Fargo Bank et al v Islam:

For more than 6 years, a family faced foreclosure and potential auction of their home in this mortgage foreclosure lawsuit. Our client did not answer the summons and complaint and was in default and danger of losing their home. In consultation with the Licatesi Law Group, LLP and with the unique focus of the law firm to defend and protect the civil rights of homeowners in this Queens County action, the attorneys argued successfully that the Bank violated the rights of our client. The law is clear that a default judgment must be moved for within a year or the action must be dismissed. With the commitment of the homeowner to defend and keep their home and facing the potential loss and auction of their home , the Licatesi Law Group, LLP successfully argued and the Court found that the action must be dismissed. The dismissal of the foreclosure action, some 6 years after it had been commenced gave the clients an enormous sense of relief. Senior partner, Richard H Rubin Esq., personally met with the client after the decision and was gratified to be a part of the family recovery and victory in this case. “It is a humbling moment to have a client visit with us in our law firm after the case has been dismissed and to share the emotion and relief that the family will not be evicted or lose their home.

Case: HSBC Bank, USA v. Theresa Burgin et al., Kings County Supreme Court, Index 504305/2015

A compelling case was brought to the attorneys at Licatesi Law Group, LLP by a Brooklyn family facing foreclosure and eventual auction and sale of their home. HSBC bank tried to obtain a court judgment against the clients of the law firm. In discussing the case, the attorneys at Licatesi Law Group, LLP were retained to defend the family in this lawsuit which was brought 2 years ago but not defended. The Court found that the homeowners presented a suitable case to defend and compelled HSBC Bank to accept the late answer. The Court determined that there were questions raised by the homeowners, represented by Licatesi Law Group, LLP, and the foreclosure lawsuit will now be defended in court. Richard Rubin, Esq. , senior partner in the law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP, together with the attorneys in the firm, have now successfully defended the family and homeowners in this phase of the lawsuit and will continue to vigorously fight for the civil rights of all homeowners facing foreclosure and auction.

Case synopsis on Wells Fargo Bank v. Dunn

Our firm represents the homeowner in an action where the Plaintiff bank seeks to remove clouds on title based on the bank’s predecessor in interest failure to record the mortgage and assignments with the Clerk. Plaintiff’s summary judgment was denied because Defendant raised a question of fact as to whether the mortgage was valid on its face. To be entitled to an order compelling the Clerk to record a lost instrument the Plaintiff must prove that the mortgage is valid on its face. Based on the opposition of the Defendant which argued that there was no proof that the mortgage was a true and certified copy the Court held that Plaintiff was not entitled to an award of summary judgment.

DiTech Financial LLC f/k/a Green Tree Servicing LLC v. Graciela Locascio

In this Suffolk County residential mortgage lawsuit, Licatesi Law Group, LLP provided counsel and legal representation to a family seeking to keep their home from a judgment of foreclosure. The family met with Licatesi Law Group, LLP and shared that several years ago the summons and complaint was not received, leading to their failure to answer and appear in the lawsuit and the loss of valuable civil rights. The Court found that the process server’s actions against the deprivation of due process and the lawsuit was dismissed.

Branch Banking and Trust Company v. Satarine Singh

Licatesi Law Group, LLP received an urgent call from a new family, defending against a bank seeking to enter a money judgment in New York arising from a Florida mortgage and debt. So often, our New York families have nowhere to turn to after facing the loss of their vacation homes and dreams in Florida and other warmer climes. The family consulted with Licatesi Law Group, LLP, worried that their losses in Florida would continue to haunt them in New York as they sought to plan out their financial recovery. The Court found in favor of the family and the action was dismissed. Licatesi Law Group, LLP provided counsel and legal representation to this family, allowing the family to continue to recover and plan ahead for better things to come.

Hudson City Savings Bank against Cohen

In an action to foreclose a mortgage, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County, entered December 4, 2012, which granted those branches of the motion of the defendants Cohen and Cohen which were, in effect, pursuant to CPLR 5015(a) to vacate a judgment of foreclosure and sale dated June 1, 2011, upon their failure to appear or answer the complaint, and to set aside the sale of the subject property. City Savings Bank against Cohen

HSBC Bank v. Singh

By Order dated August 4, 2016, the Honorable Bernice D. Siegal of the Supreme Court Queens County denied Plaintiff’s application for Summary Judgment as a result of Defendant’s opposition to same. Plaintiff’s application for Summary Judgment was denied based upon Defendant’s arguments alleging the timeliness of Plaintiff’s application and Plaintiff’s failure to demonstrate its standing in the action. Defendant argued Plaintiff’s motion was untimely as it was filed 120 days after the filing of the note of issue and, as a result violated CPLR 3212(a). Moreover, CPLR 3212(a) provided an exception for untimely motions, if the moving party can establish “good cause” as to why the motion was untimely. However, the Court determined Plaintiff failed to establish “good cause” for the delay and ruled in favor of Defendant. The Court also determined Defendant’s allegation questioning Plaintiff’s standing in the action had merit. The Court found that Plaintiff failed to refute Defendant’s allegation of a lack of standing as Plaintiff’s affidavit in support of its application was insufficient to demonstrate that Plaintiff had standing at the time of commencement. Specifically, the Court determined that Plaintiff’s representative did not maintain personal knowledge of the record keeping practices and procedures of Plaintiff and therefore could not attest to Plaintiff’s standing. As a result, Plaintiff’s application for summary judgment was denied.

Countrywide Home Loans v. Harold Levinson, et al.

By Order dated May 23, 2016, the Honorable Jeffrey Arlen Spinner of the Supreme Court Suffolk County denied Plaintiff’s application for Order of Reference and granted Defendant’s cross-motion for Summary Judgment. In the case at hand, Defendant properly raised the issue of Plaintiff’s standing to sue. Plaintiff unsuccessfully rebutted Defendant’s allegation and failed to established that it enjoyed ownership of both the mortgage and the underlying note at the time of the commencement of the foreclosure action. The Court found that Defendant established and, Plaintiff failed to prove, by a fair preponderance of credible, relevant and material evidence, that Plaintiff was vested with standing to seek enforcement of the note at the time of the commencement of the action. As a result, the Court dismissed the Complaint.

Wells Fargo Bank against Obi

Plaintiff commenced the instant residential foreclosure action on June 29, 2009 after defendants defaulted on their monthly mortgage payments.

Deutsche Bank National Trust Company against Foster

Plaintiff, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company has moved pursuant to CPLR 3212, for an order awarding summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant/borrower Foster.

Long Island Mortgage Help

Long Island Home owners in distress will soon be eligible to apply for new low-cost loan foreclosure.

Attorney general sues HSBC over foreclosures

Thousands of New Yorkers have likely been denied a better chance to get their homes out from under foreclosure by HSBC Bank USA and its Depew mortgage operations facility, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is charging in a new lawsuit.

Licatesi Law Group, LLP, had victory in the Appellate Division, Second Department

The Appellate Division, Second Department reversed the lower Court’s dismissal of our client’s Labor Law action under Section 240 of the Labor Law.

Licatesi Law Group, LLP successfully defended their client’s property against foreclosure efforts by a lender with evidence of “Robo-Signing” practices by the bank. “Our client was in default for many years and was concerned about the loss of his rights and his home. He hired our firm to defend against the foreclosure of his home in a” Robo-Signing case,” said firm partner Richard Rubin. “We are proud that our client was granted the right to voice and protect his rights and that the Robo-Signing issues will be openly brought to light. See more at: Licatesi Law Group, LLP Defends Client Against Foreclosure in Robo-Signing Case.

“Licatesi Law Group, LLP defends its clients when banks and financial institutions seek the public auction of their homes and properties during mortgage foreclosure lawsuits throughout New York State. The attorneys at Licatesi Law Group, LLP, in a recent ruling issued in the New York State Supreme Court, Queens County faced just such a situation when its client faced a second foreclosure action brought by Wells Fargo Bank. As is often the case, the court initially had to decide whether the new institution, 21st Century Mortgage, would be permitted to substitute for Wells Fargo Bank. Many callers to the law firm have faced similar situations and seek discussion and counsel when faced with a lawsuit from an institution that has no connection in their mortgage history. The Court in this case ruled that the determination of this issue was within the discretion of the court and given that the Note did not evidence 21st Mortgage and both institutions gave conflicting statements about possession of the Note at the time of the commencement of the lawsuit, the motion to allow 21st Mortgage to substitute was denied. The client of the law firm was also faced with defending against a summary judgment. The attorneys at Licatesi Law Group, LLP raised the inadmissibility of the evidence offered and the Court found in favor of the homeowner. Clients and callers to the attorneys at the law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP have often been divested of their civil rights and options but once the office visits and file reviews have been undertaken and the substantial defenses of standing, compliance by the institution with pre-lawsuit notices and issues relating to the statute of limitations have been framed, the defense of these mortgage foreclosure lawsuits take on new meaning for the clients of the law firm. In the case at hand, these defenses were placed before the Court. The Court found that open questions existed and denied the request for judgment and also denied the request to appoint a referee. Civil rights and defenses against mortgage foreclosure and auction are the keynotes for client protection in theLicatesi Law Group, LLP. When faced with these lawsuits, the attorneys at Licatesi Law Group, LLP stand ready. ( Wells Fargo Bank v Achuobi, Supreme Court, Queens County, filed August 30, 2017).”

“The law firm of Rubin&Licatesi PC, representing a homeowner in the Supreme Court, Queens County, recently received a successful decision dismissing a mortgage foreclosure action. The lawsuit was commenced in 2011 seeking an auction and sale of her home. Faced with the immediate auction and sale date, the client visited the law firm several months ago seeking an open discussion on her options and civil rights in the action. The lawyers in the firm provided a basis for the homeowner to return to court and restore the loss of her civil rights in order to vacate a judgment of foreclosure and sale and an order of reference. The history of this case was further complicated given a court decision in 2014 allowing for a default judgment. “The case was bleak when the client first visited” but after discussion and review of the court file, the law firm determined that a course of action to restore her civil rights was reasonable and necessary. Many clients are unaware of the motion practice and court events through no fault of their own. When faced with the loss of a home or business property, a consultation in our law firm is the first step in the process of recovery. The case at hand was dismissed on the failure to prove that RPAPL 1303, a statutory pre foreclosure notice, was served upon the client and homeowner. These are statutory and civil rights and many of our clients and property owners are unaware of the protections in New York State. It is the responsibility of the bank or mortgage and note investor to prove compliance with the laws and statutes and the lawyers in Licatesi Law Group, LLP examine each step and detail to analyze these events and actions. “Receiving a call from a client who faced auction and foreclosure and now has their case dismissed” is one of the greatest benefits of defending a mortgage foreclosure action. In the case at hand, the judgment of foreclosure and sale and order of reference was vacated and the action dismissed. The notice of pendency in the County Clerk’s Office was also cancelled and our homeowner is no longer facing the auction of her home.(Caridi v Tanico et al, Supreme Court, Queens County).”

“The Licatesi Law Group, LLP, in a recent decision in the Supreme Court, Kings County, with a unique focus to defend against mortgage foreclosure and auction, presented its argument to defend a client’s home when Wells Fargo filed for a summary judgment, to appoint a referee to auction our client’s home and to strike the client’s answer. The client retained the law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP to defend his interests and to keep his home. In this struggle by a Brooklyn homeowner, the Court denied the motion of Wells Fargo Bank, ruling that it failed to demonstrate that it properly sent the notices required by RPAPL 1304. These notices are mandated by law to be served by the Bank and the failure to evidence compliance with the New York statutes and protections was upheld by the Court. When a homeowner faces foreclosure and auction, the law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP is ready to defend and provide legal representation and counsel. There is never a charge to meet with the law firm. The laws and statutes in New York present common ground for the homeowner to preserve and protect these important civil rights.”

“A unanimous panel in the Appellate Division, 2nd Department reversed a ruling from the Supreme Court, Nassau County, Justice Adams , according to a recent case argued successfully by the law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP. (US Bank v Richard). In this action to foreclosure a mortgage and auction the home in Nassau County, Licatesi Law Group, LLP met with the client and defended her civil rights in the defense of this mortgage foreclosure lawsuit. The law firm had the support of the client in defending the lawsuit because the pre foreclosure notice requirements had failed the litmus test for legal sufficiency and that the plaintiff’s motion for an order of reference should have been denied. On a motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff bank or financial institution must strictly prove its case and the elements necessary for judgment. When a family or business client is confronted with a motion for summary judgment or auction, the primary focus of the law firm is to defend and protect the client, their home and business properties. Remember, your bank has attorneys and so should you. The lawyers at Licatesi Law Group, LLP are devoted to the protection and preservation of your civil rights.”

“In a recent lawsuit, Chase Bank v Harridass, in the Supreme Court, Queens County, the clients of the law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP were faced with Chase Bank seeking a summary judgment. The family, homeowners in Jamaica, Queens, visited our law firm seeking to consult on their civil rights, defending the foreclosure and keeping their home. In fact, the court action taken by Chase Bank was directly intended to create the anticipated auction of our clients’ home. The attorneys in Licatesi Law Group, LLP present a unique focus in the defense of mortgage foreclosure actions and with the commitment of our clients the law firm opposed the motion and demonstrated that Chase Bank did not prove its case. The Court found that Chase Bank failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that it strictly complied with the mandates of RPAPL S.1304. When facing a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit, homeowners should be made aware of their civil rights. A bank cannot move forward without sufficient evidence to establish its practices and strict compliance with the law was mandated by the Supreme Court in this decision to protect the rights of the homeowners and clients of the the law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP Remember, the banks have attorneys and so should you.”

“The law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP recently shared in a victorious decision in the Supreme Court, Kings County in the case Horrigan Development v Drozd. The client of the law firm, owner of a small multi family house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn entered into a contract of sale in 2010 to sell to a real estate developer. After the contract was signed certain legal issues were encountered, including the death of his brother in Poland. Our client was sued in the Brooklyn Supreme Court by the developer for specific performance of the contract. With great care and devotion, the attorneys at Licatesi Law Group, LLP were convinced that the client’s rights had been violated and that the home should remain with the family, rather than be forced to sell to a developer. With consideration, the Supreme Court decision upheld the rights of the client and expressly found that it was the developer who breached the contract. The law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP participated in the defense of this action and remains pleased and proud to represent the homeowner and defend his civil rights in the protection of the Greenpoint, Brooklyn home. The complaint was dismissed.”

Suffolk County jury verdict was rendered in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $1,025,000 for personal injuries sustained in a Long Island car crash. On January 11th 2007, 35 year old plaintiff, a Long Island banker, was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Route 112, in Medford, NY. Plaintiff was stopped at a red traffic signal when the rear of his vehicle was struck by the defendant’s vehicle that was being driven in a negligent manner. Plaintiff sustained injuries to his neck, back and shoulder. Plaintiff initiated a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Suffolk County as a result of the car crash. In this Long Island motor vehicle accident, Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant driver was negligent in the operation of his motor vehicle. Plaintiff further alleged that The County of Suffolk was vicariously liable for the defendant driver’s actions as he was an employee of the County and driving in a reckless and negligent manner. Licatesi Law Group, plaintiff’s personal injury attorney moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability, and the motion was granted. The trial by jury addressed plaintiff’s serious injuries sustained in the car accident which included a herniated disc at C4-5 with annular tears in the cervical spine combined with decreased ranges of motion resulting in a surgical spinal diskectomy and fusion utilizing hardware.

On March 8, 2012, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a new regulation that will enable New York State to investigate and ban medical providers who engage in fraudulent and deceptive practices from participation in no-fault. The preamble to the new regulation makes it clear that the DFS investigation will focus on the “ownership, control, and daily operation of professional service corporations…by individuals who are not licensed to practice medicine.” See the full post on the the new regulation issued by the DFS >>

“In a recent case in which our law firm represented a homeowner, the lender sought summary judgment against our client in order to move forward and sell her home at a foreclosure sale. Our client, facing a default in answering her lawsuit in court months prior to contacting our firm, thought that she was protected but later learned the serious consequences of failing to properly defend herself in court. In opposition to the motion, the client found a solution through the judiciary and the courts of our state. “The court may excuse defendant’s default and extend time to file an answer upon a demonstration of a reasonable excuse and a meritorious defense… Defendant (homeowner) has established a reasonable excuse…because she relied on her (prior) attorney, who had filed an appearance in the action on her behalf to handle the foreclosure action… Defendant (homeowner) has also established the existence of a potentially meritorious defense… Plaintiff (lender) must be the holder or assignee of the mortgage and underlying note at the time the action is commenced… Plaintiff has failed to submit any evidence that the underlying note was assigned or physically delivered before the action was commenced. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion for an order of reference is denied and defendant’s cross-motion for an extension of time to file an answer is granted.”

“A Homeowner may seek dismissal of a claim if the plaintiff cannot show it has legal capacity to sue. In an action for foreclosure, Plaintiff must show that it is the owner of the note as well as the mortgage at the time the action is commenced. Absent an effective transfer of the debt as well as the note, the assignment of the mortgage is void and Plaintiff cannot foreclose on the property for nonpayment of the note. MERS must hold title to the underlying note and without that, it could not transfer any rights to the underlying note when it assigned the mortgage.”

“In an action instituted by a Trust, as a collateral agent and custodian, as a plaintiff in an action to foreclose a home mortgage, the court denied the plaintiff’s request for an order of reference and related relief without proof that the Trust has a valid power of attorney for that express purpose, along with an original or a certified copy of the Servicing Agreement, to determine if the servicing agent may proceed on behalf of the plaintiff, together with an affidavit of merit by a person with personal knowledge of the facts.”

“At least 90 days before legal action is commenced, the lender must give statutorily prescribed notice to the borrower in at least 14 point type, by registered or certified mail and also by first class mail to the last known address of the borrower, and if different, to the residence which is the subject of the mortgage. Absent proper evidentiary proof of compliance with such pre-commencement requirements, the action is dismissed.”

“Absent the essential elements of proper signatures on a note, a valid mortgage cannot exist because it is the underlying obligation which gives rise to the validity of the mortgage as a lien upon the real property and mandates the denial of plaintiff’s application for summary judgment.”

“The court will require proof of the grant of authority from the original lender to the instant plaintiff to permit a mortgage foreclosure action to proceed along with an affidavit by persons with personal knowledge of the facts, as opposed to those by a “robosigner”. To allow an action to continue, without such proof, makes a mockery of and wastes the resources of the judicial system. The purpose of the doctrine is to assure that a court retains its ability to effect justice.”

“The plaintiff bank offered a 3 month trial modification agreement, accepted the payments from the homeowner and denied the final modification after one year, but accepted an additional 10 monthly payments, without protest from the homeowner. The court ordered a hearing to determine if the plaintiff acted in good faith, whether sanctions should be imposed or other measures taken.”