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Town Launches Foreclosure Prevention Initiative with Educational Workshop

 June 23, 2017
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Town Launches Foreclosure Prevention Initiative with Educational Workshop

North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board this week held a Foreclosure Prevention Workshop at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in New Cassel, part of an educational campaign to spread the word about programs currently available to help New York State homeowners facing difficulties with their mortgage payments.

Last year the Town was awarded a $159,000 grant from the New York State Attorney General’s office to address the growing statewide problem of so-called “zombie homes” – vacant and abandoned homes that are not maintained during a prolonged foreclosure proceeding.

“It is our hope that by reaching out early to help some of these homeowners who may be facing difficulties in paying their mortgages, it will have a positive impact for them personally and for the community as well,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “

The Town kicked off the campaign with a workshop on June 20 at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in New Cassel. The workshop featured speakers Ian S. Wilder, Esq. Deputy Director of Long Island Housing Services, Inc. and Heather Joseph and Christopher Calderon, Housing Counselors from the Hispanic Brotherhood, Inc.

Topics covered included:
-The Stages of Foreclosure and Key Terms
-Bankruptcy for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
-What is the role of a nonprofit Housing Counselor/attorney
-What is a modification and how to apply
-When a modification is unsuccessful or you don’t qualify- other options
-Mortgage refinancing scams to avoid
-Available help through the Homeowner Protection Program and the Mortgage Assistant

“The workshop’s knowledgeable speakers were able to give the homeowners some of the ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to mortgage modifications,” said Council Member Russell. “Many of these residents are under terrible stress and getting the correct information often relieves some of that stress.”

Ian S. Wilder, Esq. Deputy Director of Long Island Housing Services stated: “I want to thank the Town of North Hempstead and the New York State Office of the Attorney General for taking initiative to reach at-risk homeowners and inviting Long Island Housing Services to participate in this special program. Unfortunately, Long Island remains a disaster area in terms of foreclosures. Long Islanders weathering the storm need to know about the valuable free services provided by nonprofits such as Long Island Housing Services and Hispanic Brotherhood.”

“Information is power and I think that this workshop served as a great tutorial for homeowners on where to turn for help at no cost and also about what scams to avoid,” said Council Member Zuckerman. “I believe that everyone left there with a list of reliable resources and a feeling that there is help available.”

The Town has also established a Town of North Hempstead Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, comprised of representatives from the Town’s Building and Planning Departments, the Town Attorney, Code Enforcement, Tax Receiver’s Office, the Communications Office and the Community Development Agency. The Task Force will be working together identifying problem properties, developing strategies to address them and using resources to force the remediation and/or repurposing of the properties.

The Town will also be creating a public service announcement to educate viewers about the help that is available to anyone in danger of losing their home to foreclosure.

“This grant has enabled us to undertake a substantial educational initiative to reach these families before the bank knocks on their door.” said the Supervisor.

According to the State AG’s office, funding for the State-wide initiative is drawn from the $3.2 billion settlement agreement with Morgan Stanley that Schneiderman, as co-chair of the federal-state working group on residential-mortgage-based securities, negotiated in February. That settlement generated $550 million in cash and consumer relief for New Yorkers.

For more information, visit:
Call 1-855-HOME-456
www.nysmap.org or
Call the Town’s 311 call Center.


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