New York, NY – May 28, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) today announced the deployment of the DFS Mobile Command Center to two sites in Suffolk County to provide foreclosure prevention assistance to financially struggling homeowners. DFS representatives will be available to meet homeowners at the following two locations:
- Friday, May 29 – Brentwood Public Library, 34 Second Ave. in Brentwood.
- Friday, June 5 – Central Islip Fire Department, 97 Carlton Ave. in Central Islip.
The sites will be staffed each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, “The sooner a homeowner facing foreclosure reaches out for assistance, the more options they may have to help them save their homes. That’s why we encourage New Yorkers who are struggling with their mortgage payments to visit our Mobile Command Center or call our foreclosure prevention hotline.”
Senator Philip M. Boyle said: “I am pleased to be working with the New York State Department of Financial Services to bring free assistance to homeowners in need. The Mobile Command Center will aid homeowners at various stages of pre-foreclosure and foreclosure to help them stay in their homes.”
Senator Thomas D. Croci said: “Many Long Islanders are still struggling to overcome not only the financial setbacks caused by the recession, but also the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The NYS Department of Financial Services is offering vital services to residents seeking foreclosure counseling and financial assistance. I’d like to thank the Governor and the Department for making these consumer financial professionals available to provide their guidance as we continue to recover and rebuild our communities.”
State Resources Available to Homeowners
Governor Cuomo launched the DFS foreclosure prevention program in 2012 to extend help to homeowners facing foreclosure. The outreach program has visited locations with higher rates of foreclosures throughout the State. Assistance is provided at no cost to homeowners. Depending on individuals’ specific situations, DFS specialists 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 assist to homeowners.
Homeowners unable to meet personally with DFS representatives are urged to the call the Department’s toll-free foreclosure prevention hotline, 1-800-342-3736, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Homeowners may also file complaints against their mortgage lender or servicer 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 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.