Foreclosure Prevention Program to Offer Help to Bedford-Stuyvesant Homeowners; Mobile Command Center to Visit Community on July 14

Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Available to Homeowners at Department of Financial Services' Mobile Command Center During Family Health & Resource Day in Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 14, 2012.

The Department of Financial Services, in partnership with Neighborhood Housing Services of Bedford-Stuyvesant, is reaching out to offer help to Bedford-Stuyvesant area homeowners in Brooklyn struggling to save their homes from foreclosure.

Foreclosure prevention specialists will be available to meet homeowners from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 14 in the Department of Financial Services' Mobile Command Center (MCC) at Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza. The MCC will be located on the Herkimer Street side of the plaza at 380 Herkimer St. The program is being presented as part of the Family Health & Resource Day sponsored by Senator Velmanette Montgomery,  Assembly Member Annette M. Robinson and Council Member Albert Vann.

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to launch the foreclosure prevention program as a means of extending help to homeowners in foreclosure or at risk of foreclosure. Since then, the program has visited more than a dozen sites with high foreclosure rates throughout the state.

Senator Velmanette Montgomery said, "I'm very happy to be able to co-sponsor the Community Health & Resource Day event with Assembly member Robinson and Council Member Vann. We all know well how devastating foreclosure can be on a family. I'm please that the State Department of Financial Services will provide the foreclosure van to assist homeowners with concerns they have regarding foreclosure. I encourage all my constituent homeowners in the 18th Senatorial District to take advantage of this."

State Resources Available to Homeowners

The state's foreclosure prevention program enables homeowners to have confidential meetings with DFS foreclosure specialists 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.

Homeowners unable to meet personally with foreclosure prevention specialists are urged to the call the Department's toll-free foreclosure hotline, 1-800-269-0990 or 518-457-1654, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Homeowners may also file complaints using the Department website,

The Department urged homeowners to be wary of mortgage rescue scams, which may be marketed by private businesses. For example, the Department said 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.