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Help For Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, have already fallen behind or are in default or foreclosure, you may feel scared, ashamed or overwhelmed. It is very important that you act quickly to communicate your situation clearly to your lender and reach out for the help you need. The longer you wait, the fewer options you may have to save your home or avoid foreclosure. Here are some tips on the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:

Visit our Homeowners Resource Section to learn more about Tenant's Rights in a Foreclosure, Mortgage Escrow Accounts, Reverse Mortgages, Title Insurance and more...

Contact Your Lender or Loan Servicer Immediately

It is crucial that you contact your lender or loan servicer as soon as you realize that you are unable to make a payment. This is a crucial first step in addressing your situation and identifying possible solutions. It is very important that you respond to mail and phone calls from your lender. If your lender does not hear from you, they are more likely to start legal action leading to foreclosure. Provide any information requested by your lender or servicer quickly and keep records and copies of everything.

Know what may happen if you fall behind: A timeline
When you fall behind on your mortgage payments you can expect certain actions by your lender.

Know your options
If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments there may be options available that can help you avoid foreclosure.

Know your rights
When it comes to your home and your mortgage you have certain rights under the law.

Contact a Not-For-Profit Housing Counselor

Housing counselors that handle foreclosure-related issues can give you advice on your options and resources at little or no cost. They may also be able to negotiate with your lender for free and help you find free legal services in your area.

Find an approved not-for-profit housing counselor in your area

Homeowners seeking counseling or advice can also call the 24-hour toll free HOPE NOW HOTLINE at 888-995-HOPE (888-995-4673). HOPE NOW is an alliance of HUD approved counseling agents, servicers, investors and mortgage lenders that provide free foreclosure prevention assistance.

If you live in New York City, you can also call the Center for New York City Neighborhoods (CNYCN) at 311 or 646-786-0888. CNYCN partners with more than 50 agencies and coordinates foreclosure prevention and intervention services in all five boroughs. CNYCN can help you find the right services for your needs.

Seek Legal Assistance

Contact a lawyer and review your mortgage documents. Make sure your loan is not in violation of any laws. If you do not have a lawyer, call the New York State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Program at (800) 342-3661 to find one. If you do not think you can afford a lawyer, you may qualify for free legal assistance. For more information, you can call the Legal Aid office in your area, visit Law Help at www.lawhelp.org or call our Foreclosure Relief Hot Line at (800) 269-0990 for assistance in locating free legal services in your area.

Watch Out For Scams

Solutions that sound too good to be true usually are!

BEWARE of anyone who asks for an upfront fee in exchange for getting you a loan modification, saving your home from default or stopping a foreclosure or tax sale. New York law prohibits the collection of such fees in most cases.

BEWARE of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer the deed to your house over to them so you can catch up on your mortgage payments or refinance your loan.

NEVER submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.

Questions?

If you still have questions about where to turn for assistance or if you believe you are a victim of mortgage fraud, call the New York State Department of Financial Services at 1-800-342-3736.

Our staff can help you file a complaint. We can also answer your questions about mortgages, personal debt and the foreclosure process and can help you find professional help and resources in your area.

File A Complaint

Learn how how to file a complaint against a regulated entity by mail, fax, e-mail or in person.

Please use this Homeowner Checklist as a tool for collecting the key documents that should be submitted to the Department with your complaint.

Foreclosure Relief Unit

Learn more about the efforts of our Foreclosure Relief Unit and Mobile Command Center.

National Mortgage Settlement

If you were foreclosed on between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011 by one of the five mortgage servicers involved in the settlement, you maybe eligible for some compensation. Your Attorney General and the Settlement Administrator will contact you by mail if you qualify for a payment. If you have questions about your eligibility or compensation under the settlement, please call the Settlement Administrator on its toll-free hotline at 1-866-430-8358. To learn more about the settlement visit the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight.

Updated 4/04/2013

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