October 3, 2012
Contact: Ron Klug, 518-486-6976
CUOMO ADMINISTRATION FORECLOSURE PREVENTION PROGRAM TO HELP HOMEOWNERS IN ALBANY
Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Available to Homeowners at Department of Financial Services’ Mobile Command Center 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5 at Albany Community Development Agency, 200 Henry Johnson Blvd.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Department of Financial Services is reaching out to help Albany area homeowners struggling to save their homes from foreclosure.
Foreclosure prevention specialists will be available to meet homeowners from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5 in the Department of Financial Services’ Mobile Command Center (MCC) which will be located at the Albany Community Development Agency, 200 Henry Johnson Blvd., Albany.
Governor Cuomo said "It is essential that we provide as much help as possible to financially-troubled homeowners. The objective is to provide direct help to homeowners and get the word out to others that it’s important to ask for help as quickly as possible. The longer a homeowner waits, the harder it may be to save a home."
Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to launch the foreclosure prevention program in January as a means of extending help to homeowners in foreclosure or at risk of foreclosure. Since then, the program has visited more than a dozen sites with high foreclosure rates throughout the state.
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said: “It’s important that homeowners who start to see financial problems know that there are more options available to them if they act sooner, rather than later. The foreclosure prevention program allows homeowners to meet one-on-one with foreclosure prevention specialists who are knowledgeable and can offer practical guidance.”
State Assemblyman Ron Cannestrari said: “Prevention is the best medicine. I commend Governor Cuomo and DFS for this proactive approach in combating the foreclosure crisis which is affecting communities here in the Capital District and across the state.”
Michael J. Yevoli, Commissioner, City of Albany Development and Planning, said: “Stable homeownership is critical to maintaining vibrant neighborhoods and strong communities. The foreclosure prevention program provides homeowners with the information and resources they need early to enable them to stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure. This program will be a valuable tool in local foreclosure prevention efforts.”
State Resources Available to Homeowners
The state’s foreclosure prevention program enables homeowners to have confidential meetings with DFS foreclosure specialists who assess where homeowners are in the pre-foreclosure or foreclosure process. Depending on individuals’ specific situations, the 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 (HUD) approved housing counselors will also be available to offer assistance to homeowners.
Homeowners unable to meet personally with foreclosure prevention specialists are urged to the call the Department’s toll-free foreclosure hotline, 1-800-269-0990 or 518-457-1654, 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.
The Department urged homeowners to be wary of mortgage rescue scams, which may be marketed by private businesses. For example, the Department said 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.