32 Percent of Calls Come from Brooklyn
NEW YORK — Stating that more than 1,100 people have called his office asking for help, New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. unveiled new Public Service Announcements today to help New Yorkers confronted with losing their homes amid the national subprime mortgage crisis. “We must do all that is possible to help homeowners who are facing foreclosure and losing what is so valuable to their families and their lives,” said Thompson, a former Brooklyn deputy borough president and former Brooklyn representative on the old Board of Education.
“In the radio and television Public Service Announcements (PSA), Thompson encourages New Yorkers to call his Foreclosure Prevention Helpline at (212) 669-4600 to talk with staff members and learn about resources to overcome their mortgage obstacles. You can view the spots at http://www.comptroller.nyc.gov.
Since its inception on April 26, the Helpline has received 1,150 calls from New Yorkers – and others from the broader tri-state region – struggling to hold onto their homes and cut costs.
The Helpline can link callers with United States Department of Housing and Urban Development-certified counselors in specific neighborhoods. The comptroller’s staff then monitors each case to ensure help is provided.
“This Helpline connects those in need with various organizations with an expertise in banking and housing. I encourage any homeowner confronted with swelling bills and a diminishing ability to pay to call my office,” Thompson said. “We are here to help.”
Most of the calls – 45 percent (518) — are coming from Queens. Additionally, 32 percent (366) of the calls are from Brooklyn, 15 percent (175) from Staten Island, seven percent (80) from the Bronx, and one percent (11) from Manhattan.
Recent reports show that New York City’s foreclosure rate is not as steep as in other large urban areas, but nevertheless the subprime crisis is not subsiding and substantially affects many New York City neighborhoods.
Foreclosure auctions in New York City increased 19 percent from the second quarter of 2006 through the second quarter of this year, it was reported this month. These numbers pale in comparison to Miami and Los Angeles, where auctions jumped 146 and 202 percent.
Thompson pointed out that many callers indicate that the initially entered into Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) loans with low initial payments and manageable monthly payments.
“However, when the interest rate and monthly payment changes take effect, usually within two years, the ARM interest rate can increase drastically and continue to climb by more than one percent and up to a maximum of 16.100 percent throughout the terms of the loans in some instances,” he said.
© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2007
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