NY will buy 400 troubled mortgages, including one in Medina

Staff Reports Posted 12 August 2017 at 3:57 pm

The state is acquiring nearly 400 troubled mortgages including one in Medina.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s new $7.6 million Community Restoration Fund has purchased the mortgages for 398 homes in a strategic effort to bring owners in targeted communities out of foreclosure and keep the homes from abandonment through renovation and resale where necessary.

This approach is part of the Governor’s overall strategy to support homeowners, stabilize neighborhoods and prevent Zombie properties across New York State.

“Every New Yorker deserves a safe place to call home,” Cuomo said. “This program gives New Yorkers at risk of losing the American Dream the opportunity to get back on track and to make necessary repairs – helping to preserve their homes and their neighborhoods.”

The CRF is the state’s first foray into targeted mortgage note purchases to address foreclosure. Run by NYS Homes and Community Renewal’s State of New York Mortgage Agency subsidiary, CRF offers a second chance to homeowners with non-performing mortgages whom private servicers have been unable to assist.

The wide-ranging legislation signed by Governor Cuomo in June 2016 to combat vacant and abandoned buildings included the creation of the Community Restoration Fund and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program launched by New York State Homes and Community Renewal in 2016. These anti-foreclosure efforts, including NRP and CRF, are focused primarily on hard-hit areas north of New York City.

Of the 398 homes in the initiative, 203 are in Long Island. The program includes homes in 33 of the state’s 62 counties, including a house on State Street in Medina.

“Some of these families are still struggling to pay down mortgages that were made at the height of the financial crisis, and now that the State of New York has stepped in we can offer them relief and the ability to stay in their homes for the long term,” said RuthAnne Visnauskas, commissioner of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal. “In other cases, we will work with our community-based partners to get vacant or distressed properties renovated and put back into productive use.”

SONYMA, working with in partnership with New Jersey Community Capital, a nonprofit community development financial institution, and a private equity partner, completed the purchase of the 398 delinquent, non-performing mortgage notes in communities that have high rates of foreclosure. Funding for the initiative came from settlement funds paid to New York State by Morgan Stanley for their role in the national mortgage crisis.

To keep the original owners affordably in their homes, the CRF program works in ways that public and private servicers cannot, including engaging a network of locally based nonprofit housing counselling organizations that provide one-on-one counselling with the owner and direct outreach to the lender to modify the loan, and making possible necessary repairs and addressing deferred maintenance.

The Keuka Housing Council will serve the Medina home.

In cases where a mortgage modification is not possible and the homeowner cannot financially support a reduced mortgage or no longer wants to own a home, HCR and its nonprofit partners can offer resources and support to help the owner get a fresh start, while ensuring that the property is not abandoned, and is quickly repaired and resold as affordable housing to a qualified buyer.

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