DFS to Visit Watertown on Tuesday, Aug. 11 and Oswego on Wednesday, Aug. 12 to Help Financially Struggling Homeowners

New York, NY – August 11, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is deploying trained personnel from the Department of Financial Services to Watertown and Oswego to offer foreclosure prevention assistance to financially struggling homeowners.

DFS representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the agency’s Mobile Command Center (MCC) at the following locations:
· Tuesday, Aug. 11 – Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, 229 Washington St., Watertown.
· Wednesday, Aug. 12 – Oswego City Hall Lot, 13 W. Oneida Street, Oswego.

DFS personnel will be available at each site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the specified days.

“No homeowner should have to face the possibility of foreclosure without knowing all the options available to them,” Governor Cuomo said. “This initiative helps people in need get the guidance and information they need to avoid foreclosure, and I encourage anyone who may be experiencing financial hardship to come by and speak to an expert.”

Anthony Albanese, Acting Superintendent of Financial Services, said: “The prospect of losing a home through foreclosure can be a difficult experience for anyone, but there is assistance available. Homeowners in financial jeopardy should know that it is better to reach out for help sooner rather than later – since there are more options available the faster they act.”

Senator Patty Ritchie said: “For most families, their home is their most important — not to mention most valuable — asset, and when they are in danger of losing that asset, it can cause a tremendous amount of stress and uncertainty. I’d like to thank the Governor for hosting these events in the region I represent, which will give those who are struggling financially the tools, advice and assistance they need to be able to stay in their homes.”

Assemblyman Will Barclay said, “It’s reassuring to know there are options to foreclosure, if you or someone you know is experiencing financial hardship. I would encourage residents to take advantage and get the facts directly from those who know the state’s laws, regulations and programs that may help.”

Assemblymember Addie J. Russell said, “It is important to know your rights and to know people are available to assist you. The foreclosure process is devastating, and I encourage anyone who is facing that possibility to use this opportunity so it can be avoided if at all possible.”

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