A.G. Schneiderman Announces $100 Million Expansion Of Foreclosure Prevention Efforts For New York Families

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a $100 million expansion of efforts to provide no-interest loans to help New York families avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. The expansion, funded by the Attorney General’s April settlement with Goldman Sachs over the bank’s deceptive practices leading up to the financial crisis, is expected to help more than 3,000 families across the state pay off small debts that are preventing them from securing a needed mortgage modification.

A new analysis released today by the Attorney General’s Office also showed that the Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP), the first phase of these efforts, has already had a significant positive impact on families that live near a MAP loan recipient because foreclosed homes often drag down the property value of other nearby homes. According to the analysis, every $1 in loans preserves about $8.50 in property values for homeowners within 750 feet of the MAP loan recipient.

Since MAP began in late 2014, the $18 million in loans given out have already preserved $153 million in property values for nearby homeowners. The new $100 million is estimated to save an additional $722 million, after accounting for administrative program costs.

All told, these no-interest loans are expected to preserve a total of $875 million in property values for nearby homes by the time every loan has been disbursed.

“Since taking office, my number one priority has been getting New Yorkers the resources they need to rebuild from the housing crisis,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “This new investment in the MAP program will help thousands of New York families keep their homes and rebuild their communities. This program is already having an incredible impact in communities throughout the state and I am excited to expand it to even more families.”

Even families with reliable income streams are often denied mortgage modifications because they have a series of missed mortgage payments, delinquent second or third mortgage liens, or unpaid property tax bills which must be satisfied before a first mortgage holder will grant a modification. MAP provides loans that fill the gaps for struggling families, empowering them to negotiate with their mortgage holders and ultimately remain in their homes.

The analysis of the program, conducted by the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, looked at each individual recipient of a MAP loan and determined the property value preserved for every home within 750 of the loan recipient because the loan recipient had not gone into foreclosure.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarzsaid, “The MAP Program’s expansion builds upon the success the program has enjoyed in the past two years, helping homeowners facing foreclosure to stay in their homes and also helping to keep neighborhoods across New York avoid a surge in abandoned homes that devalue communities. Thanks to Attorney General Schneiderman, this program has made a concrete difference to families facing the uncertainty of foreclosure, and expanding the program will help even more families dealing with this situation.”

New York State Senator Terrence Murphysaid, “The Hudson Valley is one of the most costly regions in the country to live and raise a family and this program assists those in financial distress keep a roof over their families’ heads.  I support any program that will ease the crushing burden put on New York’s overtaxed middle class families.” 

“Communities are stronger when families are able to stay in their homes and the NYS Mortgage Assistance Program helps those who are struggling to do just that,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.  “Since 2014, there have been 55 Capital Region applications approved, providing nearly $3 million to those who need it, with an average loan amount of over $23,000 per application.  Thank you, Attorney General Schneiderman for helping families avoid foreclosure and keep them in their homes.”

“The expansion of the Attorney General’s Mortgage Assistance Program will provide much-needed relief to homeowners in Suffolk County,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “These efforts will help to lift the financial burden that has taken a toll on families across the region and are another step forward in strengthening communities.  I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman for his continuous advocacy and leadership in regards to the region’s housing crisis.”

“In order to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities, we need to do everything we can to help our residents avoid foreclosure and keep them in their homes,” Mayor Lovely A. Warren said. “With the Mortgage Assistance Program, Attorney General Schneiderman has once again stood up for our homeowners, our families and our neighborhoods.”

“I thank Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for continuing to provide relief to struggling homeowners,” said City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. “With this new round of funding, the Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) will help thousands of homeowners pay off small debts, secure a mortgage modification and, most importantly, stay in their homes.”

Binghamton Mayor Richard C. Davidsaid, “The Attorney General’s Mortgage Assistance Program is a powerful tool to protect homeowners from foreclosure and stabilize our communities from lost equity.  Binghamton homeowners at risk of foreclosure should reach out to a local housing counselor to take full advantage of the resources available to them to stay in their home.”

“As we work to find every way possible to preserve foreclosed homes as affordable at the Federal level, an expansion of New York State’s Mortgage AssistanceProgram will go a long way towards preventing New Yorkers from avoiding the foreclosure process altogether,” saidCouncil Member Donovan Richards. “This program will also prevent foreclosed homes from turning into dumping grounds and eyesores in our neighborhoods while banks neglect the empty properties, which leads to squatters and drug dens. I’d like to thank Attorney General Schneiderman for recognizing the importance of keeping families in their homes all across the State.”

“I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for continuing to help New York homeowners who have been harmed by the devastating effects of the foreclosure crisis,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. “This announcement speaks to the Attorney General’s commitment to rebuilding our communities by holding the bad actors accountable.”

“Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has made combatting the housing crisis and rebuilding our neighborhoods top priorities,” said City of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi. “Today’s announcement is welcomed news to homeowners in need of assistance, and I’m confident that the expansion of the Mortgage Assistance Program will result in more families who have fallen on hard times being able to stay in their homes.”

“The Mortgage Assistance Program is an important tool that helps families avoid foreclosures and stay in their homes,” said Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory. “The expansion of the program is good news for Suffolk County residents. We must do anything we can do to help families keep their homes.”

“We are grateful to Attorney General Schneiderman for his leadership in helping families and communities across New York State recover from the devastating housing crisis that began in 2008,” saidChristie Peale, Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods.“The Attorney General’s response to this crisis represents a national model for smart, pragmatic programs that get help to the families most in need. And this new commitment of funds will ensure that thousands more New Yorkers will be able to hold on to their homes and regain control of their futures.”

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Minersaid, “As homeowners across New York State struggle to make ends meet, this funding will support families in their greatest times of need. By granting people the flexibility to stay in their homes, parents will be able to keep their children in the same schools, people can continue to commute to work on the same bus or train, and neighborhoods won’t see well-kept properties fall into the hands of banks. I’m pleased to support this program and am glad to see funding to make it possible.”

“While we have come a long way since the worst days of the housing bubble, I know too many hard-working New Yorkers are still at risk of foreclosure,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey, District 17. “I applaud Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s announcement of a $100 million expansion for the Mortgage Assistance Program and as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for federal investments in our communities so that the Attorney General can continue assisting our neighbors in need.”

“The Attorney General’s innovative use of money garnered from financial institutions that have violated the law will help our state one home at a time,” said Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti, District 32. “I thank him for helping my neighbors and my community will be a better place because of his actions.”

“I am very grateful to Attorney General Schneiderman for creating the MAP program,” saidMiguel Ortiz, 84, a Pleasantville resident whose home was saved thanks to a MAP loan. “And I was very lucky to find Westchester Residential Opportunities who walked me through this process, and made it possible for my wife and I to continue building memories with our family in the only place we have ever called home.”

MAP provides homeowners with small loans which are non-amortizing and carry no interest rate. The loans only come due upon sale of the home, refinance, death of the borrower, transfer of ownership, or mortgage maturity.

MAP, which is funded through settlements with the big banks for their roles in the housing crisis, builds on the success of the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP). HOPP, a network of roughly 90 housing counselors and legal service providers to help at-risk homeowners across New York to avoid foreclosure, has already helped more than 60,000 New York families. Applicants for MAP loans must connect with a free HOPP counselor to begin the application process.

For more information on how to apply for MAP loans, call 855-HOME-456 or visit AGScamHelp.com.