Capital Region Legal News

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Homeowners in New York Eligible for Foreclosure Relief

Am I eligible for a loan under New York's Mortgage Assistance Program?

The foreclosure epidemic that was triggered by the collapse of the housing market in 2008 is finally abating, however some homeowners in New York are continuing to struggle with meeting their mortgage payments. Now, some of these homeowners may be able to benefit from the expansion of the state's Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP).

This program is designed to provide zero-interest loans to New Yorkers, the proceeds of which are to be used to pay off small debts that may be impeding homeowners from qualifying for a mortgage modification. MAP is being replenished with $100 million from a $5 billion global  settlement among Goldman Sachs, the Department of Justice, federal regulators and state attorneys general that was reached in April 2015.

The settlement was in connection with the firm's role in packaging and selling residential mortgage-backed securities. In short, Goldman Sachs made representations that the pools of mortgages met underwriting standards, when a significant amount of the mortgages  were actually subprime loans, many of which eventually went into default. Of the $5 billion, over $3 billion was paid to state and federal regulators in civil penalties, and $1.8 billion was to be set aside to provide consumer relief in the form of mortgage modifications.

The state of New York received a payout of $190 million, and $100 million has been funneled to it Mortgage Assistance Program, which the state believes will help more than 3,000 families avoid foreclosure and keep their homes. The program was launched in 2014 and since then $18 million in zero-interest loans have been provided to at-risk homeowners.

"This new investment in the MAP program will help thousands of New York families keep their homes and rebuild their communities," said New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The program was put in place after the state found that families with reliable income streams were being denied mortgage modifications because of missed mortgage payments, unpaid property taxes, and other debts. In order to qualify for a modification, these debts must first be satisfied. The loans provided under MAP are non-amortizing, zero interest loans  that are only payable under certain conditions such as the sale of the home, the borrower's death or some other transfer of ownership.

The office of the Attorney General contends that MAP has been successful in preventing foreclosures, keeping families in their homes, and supporting property values in these and neighboring communities. In the end, any homeowner who is facing foreclosure in the Capitol Region and needs assistance with a mortgage modification should also speak to the experienced attorneys at Ianniello Andersen, P.C.


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