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Press Release

May 29, 2014

Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691

GOVERNOR CUOMO DEPLOYING DFS MOBILE COMMAND CENTER TO LONG ISLAND TO DELIVER FORECLOSURE PREVENTION HELP TO HOMEOWNERS

DFS Assistance Available for Homeowners in Suffolk County on Friday, May 30 in West Babylon and Friday, June 6 in Brentwood

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 at these locations:

· Friday, May 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the West Babylon Public Library, 211 NY Route 109.

· Friday, June 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Brentwood Public Library, 34 2nd Ave.

“We are committed to continuing to provide assistance to homeowners at risk of foreclosure,” Governor Cuomo said. “Trained personnel from the Department of Financial Services will be on site on Long Island and I encourage homeowners who have questions or are struggling with their mortgage payments to visit the Mobile Command Center for help.”

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, “There are steps that homeowners can take that could help them to save their homes. Representatives from our Department will be available on Long Island to discuss the programs available to help prevent foreclosure.”

Senator Phil Boyle said, “With foreclosures rising on Long Island, I am pleased to team with the State Department of Financial Services on two scheduled events to offer assistance to homeowners. The first is on Friday, May 30th at the West Babylon Public Library and the second is on Friday, June 6th at the Brentwood Public Library. The services that can be obtained by the DFS mobile operation will help Long Islanders to prevent foreclosures and keep families in their homes.”

Assemblyman Joseph Saladino said, "This is a program that any New Yorker who is struggling with their mortgage should attend. Our communities have been hit especially hard from the recession and superstorms, including Sandy and I am happy that our state is hearing our cries for help."

County Executive Steve Bellone said, “I thank Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Financial Services for not only offering foreclosure prevention services but bringing this resource directly to people in need.  I encourage all to take advantage of this service and come prepared with the required documentation so that you may receive comprehensive guidance which may result in foregoing foreclosure.”

Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said, “The steps to dealing with a possible home foreclosure can be a complicated and intimidating process. I strongly encourage anyone in our area who may be in this situation to visit the state’s mobile command center to learn about what options are available to them. I’d like to thank Governor Cuomo and the Department of Financial Services for making this valuable service available to our residents.”

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:

· Homeowners’ rights;

· 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.

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