New York – July 29, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is deploying Department of Financial Services representatives to the Southern Tier to offer foreclosure prevention assistance to financially struggling homeowners.
Department of Finance representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the agency’s Mobile Command Center (MCC) at the following locations.
Wednesday, July 29 — Steele Memorial Library, 101 E. Church St., Elmira.
Thursday, July 30 — Broome County Library, Binghamton Branch, 185 Court St. Binghamton.
Friday, July 31 — Vestal Town Hall, 320 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal.
DFS personnel will be available at each site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the specified days.
“This program helps New Yorkers save their homes and strengthens neighborhoods throughout our state,” said Governor Cuomo. “We are deploying skilled foreclosure prevention professionals to the Southern Tier to assist financially struggling borrowers at risk of foreclosure and help them get back on track.”
Anthony Albanese, Acting Superintendent of Financial Services, said: “Governor Cuomo’s foreclosure prevention initiative enables homeowners in financial distress to meet one-on-one with experienced DFS staffers who help explore potential foreclosure prevention options. Using the MCC to visit communities throughout the State is also important because it helps get the word out to homeowners to seek help as quickly as possible. The longer a homeowner waits, the harder it may be to save their home.”
Assembly Member Donna Lupardo, of Endwell, said: “Housing is a critical component of a strong community. This program will help residents keep their homes and give them peace of mind. This is a great opportunity for those dealing with foreclosure to meet one-on-one with state representatives that can help them resolve their issue.”
State Resources Available to Homeowners
Governor Cuomo launched the DFS foreclosure prevention program to extend help to homeowners facing foreclosure. The outreach program has visited locations throughout the State with high rates of foreclosure to provide assistance at no cost to the homeowners. Depending on individuals’ specific situations, DFS representatives may offer homeowners assistance in such areas as:
Applying for mortgage modifications or providing help to homeowners who have already sought mortgage modifications.
Interceding on behalf of homeowners with their mortgage lenders or servicers.
Assisting homeowners in communicating with mortgage lenders or servicers.
Accepting complaints from homeowners who believe they were victimized by mortgage lending abuses, so complaints can be investigated by the Department.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development approved housing counselors will also be available to offer assistance to homeowners.
Homeowners unable to meet personally with DFS representatives are urged to the call the Department’s toll-free foreclosure hotline, 1-800-342-3736, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Homeowners may also file complaints using the Department website, www.dfs.ny.gov.
DFS also urges homeowners to be cautious of mortgage rescue scams, which may be marketed by private businesses. For example, homeowners should:
Be wary of anyone asking for an upfront fee in exchange for getting a loan modification, saving a home from default or stopping a foreclosure or tax sale. New York law prohibits the collection of such fees in most cases. Also, many not-for-profit housing counselors will help homeowners negotiate with lenders for free.
Be wary of anyone who says they can save a home if a homeowner signs or transfers the deed to his or her house over to them so the homeowner can catch up on mortgage payments or refinance a loan. A homeowner should never submit mortgage payments to anyone other than the homeowner’s mortgage company without its approval.
Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691