Image courtesy of The New York Daily News: Augustine McDowell outside his Bronx home, which has been in his family for three generations. Thanks to a new statewide loan program, McDowell received a $40,000 loan that saved his home just in time for Christmas.
The holiday season often brings an abundance of gifts: toys, snow, tinsel, and for Bronx resident Augustine McDowell, a second chance at homeownership. McDowell, 52, was days away from losing his family home — the house he grew up in since 1969 — when on Christmas Eve, the Center’s Lending team closed on a $40,000 loan, allowing him to pay off a property tax lien and keep his home.
The New York State Mortgage Assistance Program (NYS-MAP), an expansion of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP), made the loan mere weeks before McDowell’s home nearly was lost to foreclosure. NYS-MAP provides zero-interest deferred loans to homeowners at risk of foreclosure.
“I can honestly say I would be homeless if it wasn’t for you and the MAP program,” Mr. McDowell wrote to the Center’s staff. “I am still in awe over the whole experience, still wondering if it is all just a dream…I am forever grateful for this experience and the opportunity to keep my home.”
Although Mr. McDowell no longer had a mortgage on his home, a tax lien, which had been sold to a third-party collection agency, put him at risk of foreclosure. Luckily, NYS-MAP loans can be used to settle tax liens. Mr. McDowell worked with his advocate from Legal Services NYC-Bronx, one of the Center’s network partners, to secure the home-saving loan. The entire process can take as little as one month, as was the case with Mr. McDowell.
The loan not only saved Mr. McDowell’s home, but also the affordable housing of his longtime elderly tenants who have lived in the home since 1993. One of the elderly tenants was diagnosed with colon cancer and moving would have been detrimental to his already deteriorating health. Thanks to Mr. McDowell’s advocate and the fast work of the Center’s Lending Team, who administers NYS-MAP loans, the elderly couple was able to stay in their home too.
Here are some basics to know about the loan program and if you might qualify:
- You must own a 1-4 family home, condo or coop in New York State
- This home must be your primary residence
- You must meet income requirements (120% of Area Median Income)
- You must work with a HOPP foreclosure prevention counselor to apply for a loan for NYS-MAP
For more information on NYS-MAP, visit nysmap.org or call 855-HOME-456 (855-466-3456) to be connected to a foreclosure prevention professional who can help determine if NYS-MAP can help you.