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State to Offer Foreclosure Prevention Help

Mobile team will visit South Huntington Public Library to assist homeowners.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

A state Department of Financial Services team will visit Huntington Thursday to provide foreclosure prevention assistance to struggling homeowners.

The mobile unit will be at the South Huntington Public Library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to meet with homeowners.

"We are continuing to deliver help to homeowners who are financially struggling and in need of mortgage relief," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "Our foreclosure prevention initiative is enabling residents across the state to meet face-to-face with skilled professionals who can discuss the options that may be available to help them save their homes."

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 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.

The department also said:

· 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.

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