(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of the Governor of New York and received
via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)
February, 28, 2013
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES DFS PROGRAM FOR BANKS TO MEET ONE-ON-ONE WITH HOMEOWNERS SEEKING SANDY INSURANCE SETTLEMENT MONEY
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that five of New York’s
largest banks and mortgage servicers will have representatives
available to offer one-on-one help to homeowners seeking the
release of Superstorm Sandy insurance settlement funds at the
Department of Financial Services’ Disaster Assistance Centers
from Monday, March 4 through Saturday, March 9.
The program is designed to help homeowners complete steps needed
to have their banks endorse their insurance settlement checks,
which are often written jointly to homeowners and their banks or
servicers. Bank representatives will also be able to help people
who are struggling to make their mortgage payments.
The five banks and mortgage servicers participating are JPMorgan
Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiMortgage, and Ocwen
Loan Servicing. In addition, representatives from Assurant will
be on hand on behalf of dozens of smaller banks and mortgage
Governor Cuomo said: “Homeowners will be able to meet face-to-face with the bank or mortgage servicer holding their mortgage,
so they won’t have to mail documents and checks back and forth.
These banks are joining in our outreach effort, and it should
help in making the process move faster.”
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said:
“This program will give homeowners personal access to their
banks’ representatives so they can get help with paperwork, have
eligible settlement checks released, and discuss how to get help
if they are struggling with mortgage payments. This should make
the process quicker and more efficient. The Department
appreciates the cooperation of the participating banks.”
Insurers typically issue checks jointly to a homeowner and the
homeowner’s mortgage bank or servicer after the settlement of a
large insurance claim. That means the bank needs to endorse the
check before the homeowner may access the funds. Dual
endorsement is a standard requirement of mortgage notes and
insurance contracts to protect the lender’s interest. Banks may
also require proof that repairs have been made before endorsing
Earlier this month, the Department of Financial Services found
that banks were holding more than $200 million in insurance
funds from Storm Sandy victims; the Department urged the banks
to use maximum discretion and effort to speed the release of
funds and asked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to announce emergency
reforms to their rules to provide banks and mortgage servicers
with even more discretion to release funds.
In response to the Cuomo Administration’s request, Fannie and
Freddie stated that for borrowers who were current on their
payments before the storm and have less than 80% damage to their
homes, banks and mortgage servicers have complete and unlimited
discretion to disburse insurance proceeds and should apply the
same practices to their Fannie- and Freddie-backed loans as they
do to loans that such banks and servicers own themselves,
subject only to quality assurance programs.
Following this new Fannie and Freddie guidance and further
discussions with the Cuomo administration, many banks are now
releasing much more money to borrowers. Indeed, these five
participating banks and servicers alone will be immediately
releasing an estimated $70-80 million to current borrowers as a
result of these rule changes.
The Department’s Disaster Assistance Centers will be conducted
at these locations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday
and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday:
·Recreation Center and Ice Arena, 700 Magnolia Blvd., Long
·Cedar Creek Park, Merrick Rd. East, Seaford.
·Copiague Memorial Library, 50 Deauville Blvd., Copiague.
·Averne by the Sea, 68-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Averne.
·Former Kia, 1976 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island.
In addition, representatives from these five bank
representatives along with OneWest bank (on a limited basis)
will be available on the Department’s Mobile Command Center,
which will be visiting the following locations:
Monday, March 4 - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. , at 131 Irwin St, Manhattan
Tuesday, March 5 - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Lawrence Village Hall,
196 Central Ave., Lawrence in Nassau County.
Wednesday, March 6 - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Burns Park, 4990
Merrick Rd, East Massapequa, in Nassau County.
Thursday, March 7 - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2660 Hylan Blvd.,
Friday, March 8 - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 112-15 Beach Channel Dr.,
Belle Harbor, Rockaways.
Saturday, March 9 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Holy Family Church,
9719 Flatlands Ave, Canarsie, Brooklyn.
Customers of banks or mortgage servicers other than the
institutions participating in the program are also encouraged to
visit the Disaster Assistance Centers to get help in answering
their questions. Homeowners with general insurance-related
questions are also encouraged to attend.
Homeowners unable to go to a Disaster Assistance Center may
contact the Department by calling (800) 339-1759, which is
staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Insurance information is
also available on the Department’s website,
Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
New York State | Executive Chamber | email@example.com |
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