Tag Archives: foreclosure

AG announces foreclosure prevention grants

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Statistics show that Queens is the borough with the highest share of first-time foreclosures in 2012, and now Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that his office plans to award $3 million in foreclosure prevention services to assist New Yorkers struggling with possible foreclosure. The grant includes $1.5 million for organizations serving New York City.

In January, Schneiderman sought assistance from 31 non-profit legal outfits and legal-aid organizations to provide services to homeowners in foreclosure or at risk.
“As our state faces tight budget times, we must be creative and aggressive in our efforts to support working families who are struggling to stay in their homes,” said Schneiderman. “Funding legal services is essential to bringing relief for the homeowners and communities that have been devastated by the crash of the housing market, and these grants will provide thousands of New Yorkers with the legal expertise they desperately need to defend their rights in court.”

Schneiderman designated a separate $15 million of the $132 million out of the national mortgage servicing settlement as additional funding for foreclosure prevention; $9 million of those funds will be set aside to help the state’s Foreclosure Prevention Services Program – a service previously set to expire on April 1, and $6 million will go towards housing and community renewal initiatives statewide.

New foreclosure help

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

New legislation by Senator Malcolm A. Smith may increase settlements for victims of foreclosure abuse.

“Home purchasing is the largest single investment that individuals make in their lifetime,” said Smith. “Banks committed crimes against homeowners and restitution needs to be fair. I am introducing this legislation that I believe will bring parity to my constituents in the city and state of New York. I applaud the efforts of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to bring the banks to task for their erroneous dealings with home buyers.”

A settlement for $136 million was reached between the state and five of the nation’s most prominent mortgage service companies over perceived foreclosure abuse. According to a spokesperson from Smith’s office, this agreement includes relief for victims of wrongful foreclosure conduct and loan modifications, including “principal reductions for homeowners and funds that can be used to cornerstone foreclosure legal assistance and housing counseling programs.”

Under the attorney general’s proposed agreement, homeowners are expected to garner between $1,500 to $2,000 in retributions. Smith alleges that these amounts pale in comparison to the true monetary compensation homeowners should be given, calling them “unfair” and “insulting.”

According to Smith’s office, the proposed legislation could earn homeowners “the full amount of the down payment paid or 20 percent of the original appraised value of the qualifying residential real property.” If the eligible homeowner no longer lives in the house that was the subject of a foreclosure, they may qualify for the full amount of a down payment on new residential property.

“[Schneiderman’s effort] is the launching pad for my legislation which provides for increased financial payments to victims of the foreclosure crisis,” said Smith.