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Press Release
Governor Paterson Reminds New Yorkers of Consumer Assistance During Financial Market Turmoil

September 30, 2008

Governor David A. Paterson today reminded all New Yorkers that consumer assistance and support is available from state agencies during this difficult time of rising foreclosures and ongoing turmoil in the financial markets.

Governor Paterson said:

“In the last few weeks, during this time of fiscal crisis, State and federal governments have been working to extend a helping hand to some of the largest financial institutions in our nation. But for the past year and a half, New York has been extending a helping hand to some of our state’s most distressed homeowners.

“I was alarmed to see the results of the most recent report from the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, which shows that eight out of ten homeowners facing foreclosure are not even talking to their lenders to work out an agreement. Additionally, the report showed that for those who had reached some sort of loan modification, one out of every five have fallen into delinquency.

“New York is here to help, and I urge any distressed homeowners to reach out and take full advantage of the services we are providing.

“The New York State Banking Department has a dedicated consumer help unit that is staffed from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Staff at the consumer help unit can respond to calls in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Russian. The Banking Department provides consumer support on general questions related to the financial environment, as well as on specific questions related to the institutions under its supervision. Such institutions include domestic and foreign banks, mortgage bankers and brokers, check cashers, money transmitters, budget planners, licensed lenders, sales finance companies and premium finance agencies.

“Consumers with questions can contact the Banking Department by calling toll-free 877-BANK-NYS (877-226-5697). Callers outside of the United States can call 212-709-3530 or 212-709-3582. General consumer information is also available on the Banking Department’s website at www.banking.state.ny.us.”

Contact: Errol Cockfield | errol.cockfield@chamber.state.ny.us | 212.681.4640 | 518.474.8418