New York State Association of County Clerks2013 Legislative Program
The New York State Association of County Clerks (NYSACC) has represented all62 elected or appointed County Clerks within the State for over 75 years. After muchdiscussion, and suggestions from county clerks across the state, we present the following asa draft legislative agenda for 2013. Keeping in mind the necessity of responding to on-going developments both locally and statewide, our Annual Legislative Conference adoptedthis legislative program in January, 2013.
1. Requiring all Parties with Recorded Interests to Record a Mortgage Ownership AssignmentDocument Identifying the Owner of the Mortgage Interest
Private record keeping entities are currently allowed to maintain a database which keeps a real-timerecord of such transactions, by-passing filing these important documents with New York CountyClerks. Additionally the Court of Appeals has held that the recording statutes do not require partiesto record ownership interests.Under this private record keeping practice, borrowers cannot ascertain the identity of the owner(s)of their promissory notes through simple access with their County Clerk. This prevents readycommunication between the homeowner and the owner of their legal instruments. In this time of turmoil in housing and mortgage lending, this inability to contact the actual owner of their mortgagenote leaves a distressed borrower unable to contact their note owner. This process contributed to thehouse market crisis and the recent recession.This situation requires an update to the recording statutes so that they allow for straightforward andeasy accessibility of the current owner of interest. Maintaining mortgage owner information withthe County Clerk will aid in the enforcement of mortgage fraud.
2. Pistol License Information to be Confidential
Many County Clerks are responsible for filing pistol or revolver license records and keeping aregistry of such licenses. As the law is currently written, an individual or organization can make aFOIL request for the entire database of the names and addresses of pistol or revolver license holdersin New York State. Having this information available to the public could create serious safetyissues not only for the permit holders and their family members but also for individuals who do nothave guns in their home. Criminals would potentially have a road map of the homes that have gunsand those that do not. This information can be easily utilized to target homes to steal the pistol or
revolver from the person’s address
that is listed on the license. Just as troubling is the ability of awould-be criminal to target households without pistols license holders. This association believesthat the availability of pistol license information should be confidential except in the case of requests from law enforcement agencies and or the office of a District Attorney and will supportlegislation that furthers this goal.