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Press Release

April 24, 2012

Contact: Ron Klug 518-474-4567

CUOMO ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM TO STEM FORECLOSURES TO VISIT BRONX HOMEOWNERS

"Department of Financial Services Foreclosure Prevention Specialists Available to Meet Bronx Homeowners 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, April 27"

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, today announced that Department of Financial Services mortgage foreclosure prevention specialists will meet with homeowners already in foreclosure and those at risk of foreclosure from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, April 27 at 959 East 233rd Street, near Bussing Avenue in the Bronx.

"Governor Cuomo believes that it’s essential that we provide as much help as possible to financially-troubled homeowners. Our 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," Superintendent Lawsky said.

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson said: “While there have been some signs of the economy slowly recovering, the foreclosure crisis is still ravaging many communities in New York State. On Friday, I am hosting a Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Day with officials from the New York State Department of Financial Services Foreclosure Relief Unit. This important event will provide homeowners with critical counseling that could make the difference between keeping people in their homes and providing stability for our communities.”

Foreclosure prevention specialists will meet with homeowners to assess where they are in the pre-foreclosure or foreclosure process and provide:

  • Information to homeowners about specific loan modification programs which may be available to them;
  • Guidance to homeowners on how they can file complaints with the Department so that cases of lender or mortgage servicer abuses, such as predatory lending practices, can be investigated.

The foreclosure prevention specialists will meet with homeowners inside the Department's Mobile Command Center, a 36-foot long vehicle. Homeowners should bring with them any documents relevant to their individual situations, such as records of mortgage payments or letters to them from lenders or mortgage servicers.

Homeowners may also file complaints using the Department website, www.dfs.ny.gov. Also, information may be obtained by calling 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.

Superintendent Lawsky urged homeowners to be wary of mortgage rescue scams, which may be marketed by private businesses.

"Beware of anyone who asks for an upfront fee in exchange for getting you a loan modification, saving your 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 you negotiate with your lender for free," Superintendent Lawsky said.

"Beware of anyone who says they can save your home if you sign or transfer the deed to your house over to them so you can catch up on your mortgage payments or refinance your loan. Never submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without its approval."

The Department plans on sending foreclosure prevention specialists to assist homeowners at sites across the state, particularly where there are high concentrations of homeowners in or at risk of foreclosure. The Department’s foreclosure prevention initiative was launched in February and has visited numerous locations as part of its citizen outreach effort.