Attendees will be able to ask questions about their options...

Attendees will be able to ask questions about their options to avoid or navigate the foreclosure process. Credit: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

Homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments can get help at an event Friday in Central Islip.

Empire Justice Center and the state Attorney General’s Homeownership Program are holding a foreclosure clinic from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Touro Law Center at 225 Eastview Dr. The Nassau County Bar Association, which regularly holds foreclosure prevention programs, also will be participating.

Attendees will be able to ask questions about their options to avoid or navigate the foreclosure process. While attorneys on hand will not be able to provide formal legal advice, they can make referrals to agencies that provide free legal representation.

New York’s moratorium on foreclosures, imposed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ended Jan. 15, but the volume of cases has been lower than expected, said Madeline Mullane, an attorney and director of pro bono attorney activities at the Nassau County Bar Association. The organizations hope to reach homeowners before they’re at serious risk of losing their homes.

She said the event is appropriate for anyone who has mortgage payment concerns, ranging from homeowners who are on the verge of eviction after their property has been sold to those who haven't even missed a payment yet.

“We’re seeing all of it, and it’s coming in different trickles because we know that there’s a larger volume coming," Mullane said of foreclosure cases. "It’s just the wave hasn’t hit yet."

She expects many homeowners will do all they can to have their loans reinstated because some locked in fixed mortgages at rates below 3%. The average 30-year fixed rate was 6.29% last week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

“The earlier we can reach people in the process, the more wiggle room they may have in terms of what they can negotiate with their lender,” Mullane said.

Proof of vaccination is required to attend Friday’s event, but resources are available for those who cannot show proof and would like to receive help.

The Nassau County Bar Association plans to host several more mortgage foreclosure clinics in the coming months at its headquarters in Mineola at the corner of 15th and West streets. Those clinics will be held on Nov. 7 and Dec. 5 from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

The bar association also will hold a separate open house legal clinic on Oct. 24 from 3 to 7 p.m. in Mineola, where attendees can receive consultations on issues such as bankruptcy, citizenship, divorce, employment, foreclosure and landlord/tenant disputes.

Registration is required. To register for Friday’s event or subsequent clinics, call 516-747-4070, ext. 1308.

Latest Videos