Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, has launched a statewide effort to stem mortgage foreclosures by helping homeowners at risk of losing their homes. The Cuomo Administration initiative began in Suffolk County, which has the highest number of home foreclosures in New York State, where Superintendent Lawsky was joined by State Sen. Lee M. Zeldin, Assemblyman Phil Ramos and other elected officials.
“Gov. Cuomo has directed the Department of Financial Services to assist homeowners dealing with foreclosure or the risk of foreclosure,” Superintendent Lawsky said. “Starting today, we will send staff and our command center wherever foreclosures are the biggest problem so we can be on the ground helping New Yorkers. Our message to homeowners is seek help as soon as you have a problem. The longer you wait, the harder it may be save your home.”
The Department has initiated a new foreclosure hotline, (800) 269-0990 or (518) 457-1654, open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, homeowners can file complaints on the Department Web site at www.dfs.ny.gov.
“Creating a mechanism to bring foreclosure assistance resources to communities heavily affected by foreclosures makes absolute sense,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “It is imperative that we increase the knowledge base of those who are in the pre-foreclosure or foreclosure process and provide tools to assist them in keeping their homes. I applaud the Governor for his out of the box thinking and look forward to decreasing the tide of foreclosures within Suffolk County and throughout the State.”
Gov. Cuomo announced the formation of the foreclosure relief unit within the Department of Financial Services last month in his State of the State address. The Department is developing a schedule for mortgage foreclosure specialists to visit other locations in the state using a mobile command center, a 36-foot-long van equipped with computers and communications systems.