Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D), candidate for Queens District Attorney, today issued her position paper outlining her plan to crack down on predatory lending, housing fraud, and landlord abuse in Queens.
Most notably, Katz pledges to create a Bureau of Housing and Loan Fraud, which will emphasize education, create reporting resources, advocate for legislation, and prosecute fraudsters and white collar criminals to address these issues and provide resources for the community.
“Predatory lending, housing fraud, and landlord abuse are serious issues across Queens and the city, and it’s imperative that our next DA use her office to crack down on these crimes. Whether someone steals a car or a family’s financial security, theft is theft and must be prosecuted. I will use the full powers of my office, prosecutorial and educational, to protect and empower homebuyers, small business owners, and renters, and bring criminals to justice,” said Katz.
The Katz administration will:
- Create the Bureau of Housing and Loan Fraud so that real investigative tools are available to catch these predators
- Partner with local community groups and leaders to increase awareness of financial literacy programs
- Create a hotline and online portal to track, investigate, and prosecute predatory lenders and allow residents to report housing fraud, predatory lending, or any suspicious solicitation
- Aggressively prosecute white collar crimes like housing fraud
- Advocate for strong laws to protect borrowers, including stricter licensing standards for online lenders
- Connect with small businesses to identify loan fraud and predator loan behavior
- Advocate for legislation banning “confessions of judgement” and requiring loan-like financial products to follow the same regulations as loans.
- Protecting renters by prosecuting tenant harassment and fraudulent behavior by landlords
Katz has been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks and leaders from Southeast Queens, the New York City Hotel Trades Council, numerous trade unions, Queens County Democrats and over 300 community leaders.
Prior to being elected as Queens Borough President, Katz served in the state assembly and in the city council. She has extensive experience in private practice, working as an associate for Weil Gotshal and a shareholder of Greenberg Traurig.
Her platform calls for the DA’s office to become a partner in justice and plans to institute progressive reforms — more information can be seen here.