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Press Release

April 16, 2015

Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691

DFS MOBILE COMMAND CENTER TO HOWARD BEACH AND ROCKAWAY BEACH SITES TO DELIVER FORECLOSURE PREVENTION AND INSURANCE HELP TO HOMEOWNERS

Department of Financial Services Assistance Available to Homeowners in Howard Beach on April 17 and Rockaway Beach on April 24

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) Mobile Command Center will be in two sites in Queens to provide foreclosure prevention assistance to financially struggling homeowners and help answer questions related to insurance issues. DFS representatives will be available to meet homeowners at these locations:

  • Friday, April 17 – Waldbaum's parking lot, 156-01 Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach.
  • Friday, April 24 – Municipal lot at Beach 94th St. and Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Rockaway Beach.

The sites will be staffed each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

State Resources Available to Homeowners

Governor Cuomo launched the DFS foreclosure prevention program in 2012 to extend help to homeowners facing foreclosure. The outreach program has visited locations with high rates of foreclosures throughout the State. Assistance is provided at no cost to homeowners.

Depending on individuals' specific situations, DFS staff can help homeowners:

  • Understand what happens when falling behind on mortgage payments;
  • Learn more about the foreclosure process;
  • Understand homeowner rights;
  • Know about alternatives to foreclosure;
  • Learn more about federal programs, loan modification and other forms of relief;
  • File a complaint seeking resolution with a bank or mortgage service.

Homeowners seeking help should bring all relevant documents, such as identification, records of mortgage payments, correspondence from lenders and foreclosure notices.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development approved housing counselors will also be available to assist to homeowners.

Homeowners unable to meet personally with DFS representatives are urged to the call the Department's toll-free foreclosure prevention hotline, 1-800-342-3736, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Homeowners may also file complaints against their mortgage lender or servicer using the Department website, www.dfs.ny.gov.

DFS also urges 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 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.

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