Albany, NY -April 29, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today the deployment of the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Mobile Command Center (MCC) to Long Island to provide foreclosure prevention assistance to homeowners. DFS representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the MCC from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 30 at Town of Hempstead Municipal Lot, 400 Uniondale Avenue, across from the Uniondale Library, in the Town of Hempstead.
"The State is working hard to ensure New York homeowners have all the resources and assistance they need to stay in their homes,” Governor Cuomo said. “These on-the-ground efforts offered by the State will give homeowners the opportunity to meet face-to-face with trained professionals that can aid them in understanding the options that may be available to prevent foreclosure.”
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, “We're returning to Long Island so that additional New Yorkers can meet directly with trained DFS specialists, who can offer practical advice about their legal rights and the programs they can use to stay out of foreclosure.”
Senator Kemp Hannon said, "Nassau residents experiencing the difficulties and frustrations with the foreclosure process should avail themselves of the State's experts in homeowner assistance. The location is easily accessible with good parking."
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."
In 2012, Governor Cuomo launched the DFS foreclosure prevention program to extend help to homeowners facing foreclosure. That outreach program has visited locations throughout the state with higher rates of foreclosure to provide assistance. Governor Cuomo will also deploy the DFS Mobile Command Center to additional locations in the weeks ahead to help continue reaching struggling homeowners. Specific locations and dates will be announced shortly.
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. Homeowners can meet one-on-one with DFS specialists who review each homeowner’s individual situation. Among the issues DFS staff can discuss include:
- Homeowners’ rights;
- Alternatives to foreclosure;
- Federal programs, such as loan modifications and other kinds of relief.
- 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.
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 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.
- 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.