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Press Release

April 30, 2015

Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691

DFS MOBILE COMMAND CENTER TO DELIVER FORECLOSURE PREVENTION AND INSURANCE HELP TO QUEENS HOMEOWNERS IN SPRINGFIELD GARDENS

Department of Financial Services Assistance Available to Homeowners Friday and Saturday at Springfield Gardens Intermediate School 59

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) Mobile Command Center (MCC) will provide foreclosure prevention assistance and help answer questions related to insurance issues for homeowners in the Springfield Gardens section of Queens.

DFS personnel will staff the MCC at Springfield Gardens Intermediate School 59, 132-55 Ridgedale St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Friday, May 1 and as part of the 2nd Annual Community “Linkages to Your Health” & Educational Resources Fair from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on Saturday, May 2.

State Resources Available to Homeowners

The DFS foreclosure prevention program is an outreach program that 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.

DFS personnel will also be available to answer questions homeowners may have related to homeowners’ insurance issues.

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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