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Press Release

June 07, 2012

Contact: Ron Klug, 518-486-6976

CUOMO ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM TO STEM FORECLOSURES TO HELP HOMEOWNERS IN WYANDANCH

Department of Financial Services Foreclosure Prevention Specialists Available to Meet Homeowners at Wyandanch Senior Nutrition Center, 28 Wyandanch Ave. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, June 8

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, today announced that Department of Financial Services mortgage foreclosure prevention specialists will be available to offer help to Suffolk County area homeowners who are already in foreclosure or at risk of foreclosure from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, June 8 at the Wyandanch Senior Nutrition Center, 28 Wyandanch Ave. in Wyandanch.

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."

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo created the Foreclosure Relief Unit within the Real Estate Finance Unit of DFS.

Senator Owen H. Johnson said, “Families are struggling to stay in their homes in this difficult economy and need to know there are services available to help them. Homeowners can speak one-on-one with trained professionals to learn about services to help them stay in their homes. I thank the Department of Financial Services for partnering with me to offer this essential service to local residents.”

Assemblyman Bob Sweeney said: “This is an important initiative designed to help homeowners greatly increase their ability to stay in their homes. It is important that people in foreclosure seek help as soon as possible. The longer they wait, the more difficult it becomes to manage the process.”

The Department’s foreclosure prevention specialists will meet with homeowners to assess where they are in the pre-foreclosure or foreclosure process. They will offer:

· Information about specific loan modification programs which may be available to homeowners;

· Guidance on how homeowners can file complaints with the Department so that cases of lender or mortgage servicer abuses, such as predatory lending practices, can be investigated.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counselors will also be available.

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.

DFS 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.

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 is 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 more than a dozen sites in the state as part of its outreach effort.

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