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Schneiderman Touts State Mortgage Programs in Binghamton

By Jason Weinstein.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in Binghamton Thursday to talk about efforts he says have helped 50,000 New Yorkers fight to keep their homes and ward off foreclosure since 2012.

The AG says the Homeowner Protection - or HOPP - Program and the state's Mortgage Assistance Program have helped more than 6,000 homeowners in the Southern Tier and Central New York avoid foreclosure. The programs are funded by more than $100 million from bank settlements stemming from the collapse of the housing market.

The money is used to fund legal aid and housing counselors to help homeowners deal with banks. One such homeowner is Joseph McQuade of Deposit whose legal aid representative dealt with the bank which held his mortgage.

"Two weeks before this past Christmas Matt gave us the news that the bank was granting us a modification and a principal reduction to the tune of almost $50,000. We were overjoyed, of course," said McQuade.

"So many people don't know about what programs are available to (them). That's why having legal services and housing counselors - the first thing everyone should do is reach out to a HOPP provider and that's going to help you understand what's available," said Schneiderman.

The New York State Mortgage Assistance Program began in October, 2014. It provides families at risk of foreclosure with small loans to pay off debts that are a barrier to mortgage modification. In the Southern Tier and Central New York this program has approved 87 loans totaling $2.2 million.