Help For Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, have already fallen behind or are in default or foreclosure, you may feel scared, ashamed or overwhelmed. It is very important that you act quickly to communicate your situation clearly to your lender and reach out for the help you need. The longer you wait, the fewer options you may have to save your home or avoid foreclosure. Here are some tips on the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:
Contact Your Lender or Loan Servicer Immediately
It is crucial that you contact your lender or loan servicer as soon as you realize that you are unable to make a payment. This is a crucial first step in addressing your situation and identifying possible solutions. It is very important that you respond to mail and phone calls from your lender. If your lender does not hear from you, they are more likely to start legal action leading to foreclosure. Provide any information requested by your lender or servicer quickly and keep records and copies of everything.
Contact a Not-For-Profit Housing Counselor
Housing counselors that handle foreclosure-related issues can give you advice on your options and resources at little or no cost. They may also be able to negotiate with your lender for free and help you find free legal services in your area.
List of approved counselors in the area:
Belmont Housing Resources
1195 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14209
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: (716) 885-2344
Thursdays and Fridays:(716) 877-3910
203 Military Rd. Buffalo, NY 14207
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Buffalo, Inc
1-800-926-9685 or 716-712-2060
40 Gardenville Parkway, Suite 300, West Seneca, NY 14224
Neighborhood Housing Services of South Buffalo
1937 South Park Ave. Buffalo, NY 14220
Homeowners seeking counseling or advice can also call the 24-hour toll free HOPE NOW HOTLINE at 888-995-HOPE (888-995-4673). HOPE NOW is an alliance of HUD approved counseling agents, servicers, investors and mortgage lenders that provide free foreclosure prevention assistance.
Seek Legal Assistance
Contact a lawyer and review your mortgage documents. Make sure your loan is not in violation of any laws. If you do not have a lawyer, call the New York State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Program at (800) 342-3661 to find one. If you do not think you can afford a lawyer, you may qualify for free legal assistance. For more information, you can call the Legal Aid office in your area, visit Law Help at www.lawhelp.org or call the New York State Department of Financial Services Foreclosure Relief Hot Line at (800) 269-0990 for assistance in locating free legal services in your area.
Watch Out For Scams
Solutions that sound too good to be true usually are!
BEWARE of anyone who asks for an upfront fee in exchange for getting you a loan modification, saving your home from default or stopping a foreclosure or tax sale. New York law prohibits the collection of such fees in most cases.
BEWARE of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer the deed to your house over to them so you can catch up on your mortgage payments or refinance your loan.
NEVER submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.
If you still have questions about where to turn for assistance or if you believe you are a victim of mortgage fraud, call the New York State Department of Financial Services at 1-800-342-3736.
The Department of Financial Services staff can help you file a complaint. They can also answer your questions about mortgages, personal debt and the foreclosure process and can help you find professional help and resources in your area.
File A Complaint
Learn how how to file a complaint against a regulated entity by mail, fax, e-mail or in person via the New York State Department of Financial Services.