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"Air Quality Alert" ...Air quality alert in effect from 2 PM this afternoon to 10 PM EDT this evening... The New York state department of environmental conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties... Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Westchester... Rockland...Nassau...Suffolk. In effect from 2 PM this afternoon to 10 PM EDT this evening. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for the pollutant of ground level ozone. The air quality index...or aqi...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the aqi value, the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York state department of health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very Young, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. A toll free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll free number is: 1 800 5 3 5, 1 3 4 5. 1014 am EDT Tue Sep 2 2014 ...Air quality alert in effect from 2 PM this afternoon to 10 PM EDT this evening... The New York state department of environmental conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties... Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Westchester... Rockland...Nassau...Suffolk. In effect from 2 PM this afternoon to 10 PM EDT this evening. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for the pollutant of ground level ozone. The air quality index...or aqi...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the aqi value, the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York state department of health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very Young, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. A toll free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll free number is: 1 800 5 3 5, 1 3 4 5. -- Tuesday Sep.02 14,06:12 PM Weather  |  LIRR  |  Traffic  |  Traffic Cams |  Weather News

 

Boxer, Schumer: Reverse Mortgage Companies Threatening Heirs of Deceased Homeowners With Foreclosure Unless They Pay More Than Legally Required

Press Releases

A Recent Report Found that an Increasing Number of Families are Being Unfairly Targeted for Foreclosure After Inheriting a Reverse Mortgaged Home

Washington, DC - April 30, 2014 - U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) today sent a letter to Secretary Shaun Donovan of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) asking him to enforce the rules for reverse mortgages to help prevent families from being forced into foreclosure after inheriting a home following the death of a loved one.
 
Citing the findings of a recent New York Times report, the Senators wrote that “an increasing number of heirs are facing foreclosure on their homes after receiving inaccurate and confusing information on their options following a reverse mortgage borrower’s death.”
 
When home values precipitously declined in the wake of the recent financial crisis, many families ended up owing more on their mortgage than their properties were worth. Under HUD rules, reverse mortgage borrowers or their heirs are supposed to be able to satisfy their loans in such cases by paying 95 percent of the home’s current value. Instead, as the Times’ reported, “reverse mortgage companies are increasingly threatening to foreclose unless heirs pay the mortgages in full.”
 
The Senators  asked Secretary Donovan to take action “to ensure heirs are accurately informed of this option and are not unnecessarily facing foreclosure at the same time they may be mourning the loss of a parent or other family member.”
 
The Senators’ full letter is below.
April 30, 2014
 
Honorable Shaun Donovan
Secretary
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street, SW                                                                  
Washington, DC 20410
 
Dear Secretary Donovan:
We were disturbed to read in a New York Times article, “Pitfalls of Reverse Mortgages May Pass to Borrower’s Heirs,” that an increasing number of heirs are facing foreclosure on their homes after receiving inaccurate and confusing information on their options following a reverse mortgage borrower’s death. 
 
As you know, home values declined sharply during the recent financial crisis, and many borrowers, including those with reverse mortgages, found themselves owing more than their properties were worth.  Under the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) rules, lenders are supposed to offer reverse mortgage borrowers and heirs the option to satisfy a loan by paying 95 percent of the home’s current appraised value.  Instead, as the article in the New York Times noted, “reverse mortgage companies are increasingly threatening to foreclose unless heirs pay the mortgages in full.”
 
The failure on the part of the mortgage companies to offer the option of satisfying the loan by paying ninety-five percent of the home’s appraised value unfairly penalizes a borrower’s family members and heirs, who are unable to obtain refinancing to pay off the loan.  Instead of keeping the home in the family, they could end up either facing foreclosure or being forced to sell the property to strangers, who still are allowed to purchase the property at ninety-five percent of value.
 
Some of the confusion appears to stem from a mortgagee letter HUD issued in 2008 that would have limited lenders’ ability to accept less than the full mortgage balance as payment from family members or heirs.  HUD rescinded that letter in 2011 and stated at the time that it would issue a replacement letter, but has yet to do so. 
 
To avoid causing grieving family members additional anxiety during an already difficult time, we urge you to take the following steps:
  • Issue the promised letter, making clear that HUD’s retraction of the 2008 guidance should be construed as reinstating the preexisting interpretation that a matured reverse mortgage loan can be extinguished by the mortgagor, the mortgagor’s estate, or personal representative by paying 95 percent of the home’s market value. 
  • Develop a letter that servicers can send to a borrower’s family members and heirs that clearly outlines options for settling the loan.
  • Enforce the existing rule and require that any servicer that fails to offer this option within the required time allow a family member or heir to pay the lower of 95 percent of the home’s value at the time the loan became due or 95 percent of the home’s value at the time the error was corrected.
We urge you to take the steps outlined above and any others necessary to ensure heirs are accurately informed of this option and are not unnecessarily facing foreclosure at the same time they may be mourning the loss of a parent or other family member. 
 
Thank you for your prompt attention to this issue, and I look forward to your response.
 
Sincerely,
Barbara Boxer                                                             Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator                                                 United States Senator
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