August 4, 2014
Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691
GOVERNOR CUOMO DEPLOYING MOBILE COMMAND CENTER TO DELIVER FORECLOSURE PREVENTION HELP TO LONG ISLAND HOMEOWNERS
DFS Assistance Available for Homeowners During Visits to Westbury, Elmont and Hicksville in Nassau County
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the deployment of the Department of Financial Services' (DFS) Mobile Command Center (MCC) to three sites in Nassau County to provide foreclosure prevention assistance to Long Island homeowners. DFS specialists will be available to meet one-on-one with homeowners in order to review each's individual situation , including their legal rights, alternative sources of assistance and how to file complaints.
"We are deploying our Department of Financial Services team to Long Island to continue providing direct, on-the-ground assistance to borrowers who are struggling with their mortgages," said Governor Cuomo. "This initiative is designed to give New Yorkers who are facing foreclosure an opportunity to discuss ways to save their homes and get back on track ."
DFS representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the MCC at the following locations:
- Wednesday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Westbury Public Library, 44 Jefferson St., Westbury.
- Thursday, Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Clara H. Carson Elementary School, 235 Belmont Blvd., Elmont.
- Friday, Aug., 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hicksville Public Library, 169 Jerusalem Ave., Hicksville.
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, "Homeowners can meet individually with experienced DFS staff at these locations. Our team reviews each homeowner's specific situation and helps them review options that may help them save their homes."
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. Among the issues DFS staff can discuss include: a homeowners' legal rights; alternatives to foreclosure; federal programs, such as loan modifications and other kinds of relief; and 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.
Senator Jack M. Martins said, "This program will allow homeowners facing foreclosure to talk with trained DFS specialists about programs and services designed to help them. I am pleased to partner with DFS and Governor Cuomo in bringing this important service to the community."
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said, "I thank Governor Cuomo for deploying this mobile command center to help residents that are dealing with foreclosure issues. I urge our residents that are struggling to meet mortgage payments to take advantage of this foreclosure prevention assistance."
Governor Cuomo will deploy the DFS Mobile Command Center to additional locations in the weeks ahead to help continue reaching struggling homeowners; the locations and dates will be announced soon. Those 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 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 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.
Governor Cuomo launched the DFS foreclosure prevention program in 2012 to extend help to homeowners facing foreclosure. The outreach program has visited locations throughout the State with higher rates of foreclosure to provide assistance at no cost to the homeowners.