Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is deploying Department of Financial Services representatives to Chester in Orange County and Monticello in Sullivan County to offer foreclosure prevention assistance to financially struggling homeowners.
Department of Finance representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the agency’s Mobile Command Center at the following locations:
- Wednesday, July 1 at the Village Municipal Lot, 47 Main St., Chester.
- Thursday, July 2 at the Ted Stroebele Community Center, 10 Jefferson St., Monticello.
The sites will be staffed by DFS representatives both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 10,000 consumers have visited the DFS Mobile Command Center for assistance since its inception, said Cuomo.
“By providing financially struggling homeowners with advice and steps to avoid foreclosure, we are delivering on-the-ground assistance to help hardworking New Yorkers keep their homes,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is an important resource for homeowners in distress and I encourage all New Yorkers in the area who may need help with their mortgage to visit the Mobile Command Center this week.”
Anthony Albanese, Acting Superintendent of Financial Services, said: “People will be able to meet one-on-one with experienced DFS staffers who will review homeowners’ specific financial situations and explore potential options that may be available.”
State Resources Available to Homeowners
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 high rates of foreclosure to provide assistance at no cost to the homeowners. Depending on individuals’ specific situations, DFS representatives may offer homeowners assistance in such areas as:
- Applying for mortgage modifications or providing help to homeowners who hav already sought mortgage modifications.
- Interceding on behalf of homeowners with their mortgage lenders or servicers.
- Assisting homeowners in communicating with mortgage lenders or servicers.
- Accepting complaints from homeowners who believe they were victimized by mortgage lending abuses, so complaints can be investigated by the Department.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development approved housing counselors will also be available to offer assistance to homeowners.
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.
Department of Financial Services 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.