Homeowner Rights

Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

Homeowners that are having trouble making their mortgage payments, have already fallen behind or are in default or foreclosure, you may feel scared, ashamed or overwhelmed. The importance of communicating your situation to your lender and reaching out for help that you need cannot be stressed enough. The following are some tips on the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation because the longer you wait the fewer options you may have to save your home.

Contact Your Lender or Loan Servicer Immediately

As soon as you realize that you will be missing a payment, it is crucial that you contact your lender or loan servicer. Contacting your lender or loan servicer is a crucial first step as they may be able to provide solutions or alternatives. You must not only stay in contact with lender but also provide any information they request in a timely manner and keep copies for your records. If you fail to stay in contact with your lender they are more likely to start legal action leading to foreclosure. The point that your lender may be able to provide alternatives to foreclosure cannot be stressed enough.

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 be able to negotiate with your lender for free and help you find free legal service in your area.

List of approved counselors in the Olean area:

Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development (ACCORD) Corp.
84 Schuyler Street
Belmont, NY 14813-1051

Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. (Legal Aid of Buffalo)
237 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203

Center for Elder Law & Justice
237 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203

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 cannot afford a lawyer you may qualify for free legal assistance, contact Legal Aid office in your area, visit Law Help at www.lawhelp.org or call New York State Department of Financial Services Foreclosure Relief Hot Line at (800) 269-0990.

Watch Out For Scams

If a solution sounds too good to be true then they usually are!

BEWARE of anyone who ask 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.