We prevent foreclosures and evictions by advocating for homeowners and tenants in court and mediations. NYLAG helped David after he lost his job and almost lost his home.

I was rendered disabled after serving as a 9-11 first responder.  I managed to work despite my disability until 2007, when I was suddenly laid off from my job after working there for 22 years. Then, with no warning, my tenants upstairs stopped paying their rent and ran out on the lease. All of the sudden, I had no health insurance and no income. I went through my savings in no time—everything I had saved for over 20 years was gone in a minute!

I had more and more medical bills, and I even had to start charging basic necessities. It was so embarrassing—I never thought I would be in this situation, having had a steady job for so long. Worst of all, I couldn’t afford my mortgage payments. The first thing I did was contact the bank to see if we could find a solution. I filled out the mountains of paperwork they requested—but I was denied twice because I had “insufficient income.” Every day I looked for a job and tried to find new renters. In my free time I would fix things around the house, make sure the lawn and garden were in perfect condition—anything I could do to keep my house in top shape.

A few weeks later, I was served with foreclosure papers, and I was sent a Court date for my “settlement conference,” which was a chance to meet with the bank in front of a Judge. This turned out to be a good omen because that is where I met the people from NYLAG. I was so lost, they were like a Godsend. After looking at my paperwork, I was shocked when NYLAG told me that I had agreed to an extremely predatory loan—the contract was set up so that the more I paid, the less actually went into paying off the house, and my mortgage had a high adjustable interest rate so I never knew how high the interest would go and how often it would change. I had no idea this was my loan—that’s not what they had told me when I signed the papers.  At this point I found new renters and also began collecting disability benefits. Finally, I was offered a “trial modification” which I immediately accepted and made payments on.

It was only supposed to last 3 months and then turn into a permanent modification, but the bank kept me paying for 8 months and then refused to make it permanent. Rose Marie and Emily from NYLAG fought hard and finally, after 9 months of negotiations and several Court appearances, the bank agreed to make my modification permanent.   I was literally close to being homeless and felt completely alone until I met NYLAG. Their attorneys worked with me for over a year, guiding me along the way, both legally and emotionally.  I honestly would have given up if it weren’t for them.

I wanted to take this picture with my newly planted vegetables for my vegetable garden. I am proud to be able to plant new life in a home I almost lost.