By Jessica Bakeman, Albany Bureau
ALBANY -- New York homeowners in danger of foreclosure may be eligible for housing counseling and legal services through a three-year, $60 million grant program funded by a nationwide mortgage settlement.
Of the first year's $20 million grants, $16.1 million will be distributed to 59 housing counseling agencies and 34 legal services organizations statewide, according to the state attorney general's office. The remaining $3.9 million has been allocated for training, technical assistance and other support services for homeowners in foreclosure.
About $1.7 million of the first year's funds will go to help homeowners in the Hudson Valley, and about $1.4 will go to those in Rochester.
"The rise in foreclosures in New York state is troubling, but this isn't just a matter of numbers: each foreclosure represents a devastating loss for a family and a community," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "This program puts homeowners first, and these organizations will help get our neighborhoods back on track."
According to data collected by the New York Federal Reserve, there are more than 140,000 mortgages across the state that are seriously delinquent, defined as in foreclosure or more than 90 days in arrears.
In recent years, almost half of homeowners facing foreclosure have been forced to navigate the process without an attorney and 63 percent of New Yorkers are unrepresented at settlement conferences, according to the news release.