New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is funding an additional $20 million for the fifth year of his Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP), according to a recent report from the Office of the Attorney General. If that isn’t enough, the report also says that Schneiderman is launching the Foreclosure Rescue Scam Prevention Initiative, a new grant program that will enhance outreach, education, and referral services for homeowners at risk of fraudulent foreclosure rescue schemes.
“New York has led the nation in developing innovative ways to address the fallout from the foreclosure crisis -- including the Homeowner Protection Program, so folks wouldn’t lose their homes because they didn’t have access to an attorney,” said Schneiderman. “Now, with foreclosure rescue scams on the rise, we are enhancing HOPP’s capacity to empower our most vulnerable homeowners to avoid becoming victims of these scams.”
In addition to these funds, the report adds that the Office of the Attorney General is committing another $350,000 in new grants through the Foreclosure Rescue Scam Prevention Effort to housing organizations across New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley.
“With this new funding from the New York Attorney General’s Office, community organizations will have additional tools to fight back against scammers exploiting financially vulnerable homeowners,” said Christie Peale, the Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “When people lose their houses to fraud, there are devastating personal costs, but also repercussions felt across our neighborhoods as more and more affordable homes are taken from the market.”
Since the birth of the Homeowner Protection Program in 2012, the Office of the Attorney General reports that over 70,000 families have received free assistance to avoid foreclosure through the program, which has funded a statewide network of nearly 90 housing counseling and legal services organizations over the past four years.
“I commend the Attorney General's initiative to assist and protect our most vulnerable constituents through the Homeowner Protection Program, community outreach and education campaigns. Far too many homeowners have been hit with these foreclosure rescue scams, and as these scams grow in prevalence and sophistication, so must our efforts to combat this criminal activity and protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D-New York).