DEC 18, 2012 4:33pm ET

Hope Now Assists 300 Families Affected by Sandy

DEC 18, 2012 4:33pm ET
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Some of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers, housing counseling organizations and insurers that are part of the Hope Now alliance have provided financial insurance counseling and mortgage assistance to over 300 families affected by Hurricane Sandy in Westbury, N.Y.

It may appear like a drop in the bucket considering the damages and how many other Long Island families still need assistance, but it also illustrates how federal-, state- and local-based collaborative efforts are taking shape amongst the devastation.

The event was co-sponsored by New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman, NeighborWorks America, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Long Island Housing Partnership and CDC Long Island.

It aimed to enable face-to-face communication between homeowners and their lender-servicers and insurers.

According to Faith Schwartz, executive director of Hope Now, mortgage banks and many other organizations “came together in a very short amount of time” to make the event happen from planning to execution.

Bank of America, Chase, Citi Mortgage, GMAC Mortgage, Homeward Residential (formerly American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc.), HSBC, Nationstar, Ocwen, OneWest, PNC, Select Portfolio Servicing, Seterus, SunTrust, US Bank and Wells Fargo were among the mortgage companies in attendance.

Industry participants donated time, funding and resources to assist homeowners in need through face-to-face assistance, which has long been recognized as the most efficient way to proceed with a loan workout and prevent foreclosure, Schwartz said.

Local, HUD-approved, nonprofit housing counseling agencies including American Debt Resources, Community Development Corp. of Long Island, Long Island Housing Partnership, Long Island Housing Services and Nassau County Office of Housing and Community Development volunteered time and expertise as third-party intermediaries between borrowers and their servicers.

Other participants included insurers, such as Assurant, USAA, New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association and Allstate, and federal entities, including FEMA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.