New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced that his office will fund $1 million in foreclosure prevention services to aid New Yorkers struggling through the foreclosure crisis. Schneiderman's office has also issued a request for applications seeking bids from nonprofit legal services and legal aid organizations to provide direct legal services to homeowners in foreclosure or at imminent risk of foreclosure.
‘As our state faces another tight budget year, we must be creative and aggressive in our efforts to support working families who are struggling to stay in their homes,’ says Schneiderman. ‘This funding will provide thousands of New Yorkers with the legal expertise they desperately need to defend their rights and avoid falling prey to unscrupulous mortgage servicers or foreclosure mill law firms filing fabricated or robo-signed documents. My office will continue to use every tool available to us to protect homeowners and all vulnerable New Yorkers.’
According to Schneiderman, an average of one in 10 mortgages in New York is at risk of foreclosure, and the approximate number of individuals living in homes that are either in foreclosure or at risk of foreclosure exceeds the populations of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse combined. Schneiderman also notes a recent projection by the Empire Justice Center, that stated foreclosures of currently distressed properties may cost local governments in New York State more than $5 billion if they continue unabated.
The $1 million allocation will be funded by unspent dollars from a 2006 settlement between the attorney general's office and Ameriquest Mortgage Co.