I was Executive Director of a nonprofit organization for over a decade, but due to the financial crisis our agency was forced to close at the beginning of 2009. I never thought I would be unemployed in my mid 50s, and unable to find a job. To make matters worse, I had purchased my apartment when the building I lived in converted to a condominium two years earlier. While I was able to find some work as a consultant, my new income was a fraction of what it had been, and I started falling behind on the mortgage. The bank was threatening default and foreclosure.
I was very lucky at this time to find NYLAG. I knew I might be eligible for the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP), but HAMP modifications are difficult to get from lenders. Rose Marie Cantanno and the other NYLAG anti-foreclosure attorneys are experts on this very complicated program. They gave me confidence that I had rights and alternatives, and helped me determine the best course of action. Rose Marie accompanied me to key negotiation meetings. In addition, her moral support convinced me to keep fighting, and was perhaps as important as her legal expertise.
After over a year of extended effort and negotiations, my bank has now offered me a permanent HAMP modification. This will significantly lower my monthly payments and allow me to stay in my home.
When the foreclosure process started, I was contacted by dozens of attorneys who offered to get me a modification “for a small fee.” These were mostly sharks and hucksters, preying on people in tough times. I knew that I could trust NYLAG to do what was in my best interest. Without their dedicated attorneys, I would likely have lost my home.