June 4, 2014
Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691
GOVERNOR CUOMO DEPLOYING MOBILE COMMAND CENTER TO ROCKLAND COUNTY TO DELIVER FORECLOSURE PREVENTION HELP TO HOMEOWNERS
DFS Assistance Available for Homeowners in Spring Valley on Wednesday, June 4 and Airmont on Thursday, June 5
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that he is deploying the Department of Financial Services' (DFS) Mobile Command Center (MCC) to two sites in Rockland County to provide foreclosure prevention assistance to homeowners.
DFS representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the MCC at these locations:
- Wednesday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Spring Valley Village Hall, 200 North Main St.
- Thursday, June 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the ShopRite Lot, 200 NY Route 59 in Airmont.
"We are continuing to reach out to homeowners facing foreclosure to deliver assistance," said Governor Cuomo. "Trained staff will be available to discuss the options that may be available to families struggling with their mortgage payments to help them save their homes."
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, "Through this deployment to Rockland County, homeowners will be able to receive practical advice from experienced DFS professionals on what steps they can take to help prevent foreclosure."
Assembly Member Ellen Jaffee said, "We in government have a clear mandate to respond to the needs of homeowners in today's housing market. Helping people avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes is good for them, for their families, for the communities where they live, for our economy. That’s why I'm so pleased the State Department of Financial Services and the organizations that have partnered with us will come to the aid of Rockland homeowners."
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.