Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is deploying the Department of Financial Services (DFS) Mobile Command Center (MCC) to Rochester to help provide foreclosure prevention assistance to struggling homeowners.
Department representatives will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 10 and 11 to meet homeowners in the MCC at these locations:
Thursday, October 10 -- Gates Public Library at 902 Elmgrove Road
Friday, October 11 -- 600 Greece Ridge Center Drive (Target parking lot)
"The State's foreclosure prevention program has helped struggling homeowners across the state, and we will continue to provide guidance and relief to homeowners facing foreclosure so they can stay in their homes," Governor Cuomo said. "We are deploying the Mobile Command Center this week to allow homeowners in the Finger Lakes to meet directly with state representatives to determine what kind of assistance may be available to them and to map out the best courses of action for avoiding foreclosure. I encourage homeowners in the area who need help to meet with our foreclosure prevention specialists during these two days or contact the Department of Financial Services as soon as possible."
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, "It's important that struggling homeowners know there are options available to help them. The foreclosure prevention program allows homeowners to meet one-on-one with foreclosure prevention specialists who are knowledgeable and can offer practical guidance."
The DFS foreclosure prevention program has been used to extend help to homeowners facing foreclosure since Governor Cuomo launched the program last year. The outreach program has visited locations throughout the state with high foreclosure rates.
Governor Cuomo will also deploy the DFS Mobile Command Center to additional locations in the coming days and weeks to help continue reaching struggling homeowners. Specific locations and dates will be announced shortly.
State Resources Available to Homeowners
The state's foreclosure prevention program enables homeowners to have confidential meetings with DFS representatives who assess where homeowners are in the pre-foreclosure or foreclosure process. Depending on individuals' specific situations, the specialists may offer homeowners assistance in such areas as:
Applying for mortgage modifications or providing help to homeowners who have 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 (HUD) approved housing counselors will also be available to offer assistance to homeowners.
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.
Additionally, New Yorkers should 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.