April 17, 2014
Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691
GOVERNOR CUOMO DEPLOYING MOBILE COMMAND CENTER TO LONG ISLAND TO DELIVER FORECLOSURE PREVENTION HELP TO HOMEOWNERS
DFS Assistance Available for Homeowners at Baldwin Public Library on Friday, April 18
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that he is deploying the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Mobile Command Center (MCC) to Long Island to provide foreclosure prevention assistance to homeowners.
DFS representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the MCC from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, April 18 at the Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave, Baldwin, NY.
"We are continuing our efforts to deliver on-the-ground assistance to as many struggling homeowners as possible," said Governor Cuomo. “New Yorkers facing difficulties with their mortgages should know that there is help available, including options that could help them keep their homes.”
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, “The Cuomo Administration is deploying to Long Island so additional homeowners can meet one-on-one with our foreclosure prevention specialists. Our team will be there to provide practical advice to New Yorkers about their legal rights as homeowners and programs that can help them stay out of foreclosure.”
Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, "Long Islanders who are facing the scary prospect of foreclosure should take advantage of all of the resources available to help them keep their homes. Visiting the Mobile Command Center can provide critical information about a homeowner's rights so they can make a difficult situation a little better for themselves and their families."
Assemblyman Brian Curran said: “This mobile unit has a purpose and that is to let families know that there is help out there for them and that they can take appropriate action to remain in their homes. The Department of Financial Services and my office are available to provide help and services to residents with assistance with their mortgages and information on foreclosure prevention. There is a wide array of information out there for homeowners - everything from financial assistance/relief measures to your rights as homeowners. My hope is that residents in the Baldwin area can get the word out so we can help those who need it.”
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said, "I thank Governor Cuomo for deploying this mobile command center to help residents that are dealing with foreclosure issues. I urge our residents that are struggling to meet mortgage payments to take advantage of this foreclosure prevention assistance."
In 2012, Governor Cuomo launched the DFS foreclosure prevention program to extend help to homeowners facing foreclosure. That outreach program has visited locations throughout the state with higher rates of foreclosure to provide assistance. Governor Cuomo will also deploy the DFS Mobile Command Center to additional locations in the weeks ahead to help continue reaching struggling homeowners. Specific locations and dates will be announced shortly.
To help expedite assistance, homeowners seeking help at the MCC should bring relevant documents with them such as records of mortgage payments and correspondence with their lenders. Homeowners can meet one-on-one with DFS specialists who review each homeowner’s individual situation. Among the issues DFS staff can discuss, include:
· Their rights as homeowners;
· Alternatives to foreclosure;
· Federal programs, such as loan modifications and other kinds of relief.
· How to file complaints with DFS when dispute arises between homeowners and banks or mortgage servicers.
Depending on a homeowner’s specific situation, DFS specialists may offer such assistance as helping individuals apply for mortgage modifications or assist homeowners in communicating with their mortgage lenders or servicers.
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 urged 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.