Thousands of NYers share $1.8B in mortgage relief

Feb 22, 2013

Thousands of New York homeowners have gotten an estimated $1.8 billion in loan relief from five U.S. banks as part of the national mortgage settlement over foreclosure abuses.

Following the release of the second official report on the implementation of the National Mortgage Settlement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman noted encouraging progress on behalf of New York State homeowners. The report issued  by the settlement’s national monitor showed that over $1.8 billion in consumer relief has been delivered to New York homeowners since March of 2012.

Schneiderman says to date 21,535 New York homeowners have received assistance, including $1.2 billion in principal reductions and refinancing that lowers interest rates on their mortgages.

In 2012, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Financial agreed to a $25 billion penalty under a state-national settlement, with at least $17 billion going directly to borrowers. Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase have been particularly active in New York, providing a combined total of 1st mortgage principal reductions for 3,151 homeowners statewide.

The A.G. notes his agency's Homeowner Protection Program, known as HOP, has 60 million dollars in funding and has already begun giving out grants for the next three years. Eligibility is determined through a series of formulas.

Scheniderman says it's hard to say exactly how many foreclosures have been averted by the program. He places the success rate of the HOP program at 50 per cent.

In the State of New York, an average of 1 in 10 mortgages is at risk of foreclosure.  The AG's office says that throughout New York State, 34 legal services organizations and 59 housing counseling agencies will receive over $16.1 million this year to provide free foreclosure prevention services. An additional $3.9 million has been allocated for training, technical assistance, and other support services to assist homeowners in foreclosure.