Attorney General Announces $10 Million In Housing Counseling Funds To Stave Off Foreclosure - 27 East

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Attorney General Announces $10 Million In Housing Counseling Funds To Stave Off Foreclosure

authorStaff Writer on Aug 3, 2020

New York State’s Homeowner Protection Program, or HOPP, now has $10 million in grant funding available for housing counseling and legal services to help protect homeowners from foreclosure in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Friday that HOPP connects homeowners to free, qualified mortgage-assistance relief services across New York.

Ms. James noted that the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that 170,000 homeowners asked for mortgage forbearance in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 7,000 requests in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The funding supports a network of more than 80 housing counselors and legal service organizations that have helped more than 100,000 families avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes, according to the attorney general’s office.

“Owning a home is a staple of the American Dream,” Ms. James said. “During these uncertain times, the need for assistance and guidance to get homeowners back on track is evident and urgent. My office is committed to protecting homeownership and ensuring that all New Yorkers have a safe and decent home.”

The office of the attorney general created HOPP in 2012 in response to rising foreclosures stemming from the financial crisis. It had been funded, until recently, via settlements the attorney general made with banks. Now, the State Legislature has provided $20 million in funding for HOPP.

“Throughout the pandemic, New Yorkers have proven that they are smart, tough and resilient, but these are the most challenging times we have faced in generations and we have an obligation to do all we can to prevent foreclosures from plaguing communities,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “The Homeowner Protection Program championed by Attorney General James will provide homeowners across the state with much-needed security during this incredibly difficult time.”

Homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments or other charges can get free help by calling the HOPP hotline at 855-466-3456.

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