Mayor announces foreclosure service for NYers

An auction sign is posted at a house under foreclosure in East Palo Alto, Calif., Thursday, June 5, 2008. Home foreclosures and late payments set records over the first three months of the year and are expected to keep rising, stark signs of the housing crisis' mounting damage to homeowners and the economy. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

March 29, 2010 11:58:30 AM PDT
Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a new service initiative Monday to provide free legal support for New Yorkers at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. The program will increase the availability and effectiveness of free legal representation for those facing foreclosure by training and dispatching 300 volunteer attorneys to expand legal services provided by non-profit organizations.

The free legal services program is a component of Bloomberg's 2010 State of City pledge to launch the most ambitious home foreclosure prevention effort of any city in the nation.

The program will be implemented by NYC Service, the city's comprehensive initiative to promote a new era of service in New York City and direct volunteers toward the areas of greatest need.

The new program, NYC Service Legal Outreach, focuses on providing homeowners legal assistance during the mandatory settlement conference stage. The settlement conference is a meeting between the homeowner and the bank where alternatives to foreclosure are negotiated.

Settlement conferences represent a valuable opportunity to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Homeowners who are supported in these proceedings with legal advice have a more informed understanding of their options and obligations, and are much more likely to avoid foreclosure.

Homeowners facing foreclosure proceedings who are interested in retaining free legal services should go to or call 311.