City to provide legal services to homeowners facing foreclosure

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The city has launched an initiative to help New Yorkers facing foreclosure, according to the mayor’s office. The program, NYC Service Legal Outreach, will, among other things, provide homeowners with free legal assistance during the mandatory settlement conference stage, which is when the homeowner and the bank meet to negotiate alternatives to foreclosure. One hundred volunteer attorneys will be trained and made available at courthouses to advise homeowners and 200 volunteer attorneys will be matched with individual homeowners, both through non-profit organizations. In 2009, there were 20,773 foreclosure filings in New York City, according to the mayor’s office, up from approximately 14,000 each in 2007 and 2008. “The city has not been hit as hard as some other areas by the foreclosure crisis, in part due to our efforts, but we are seeing a serious impact,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “No family facing the loss of their home should be without representation.”TRD