As Westchester foreclosures soar, Lowey seeks help

The U.S. mortgage meltdown is making its way to Westchester and the Hudson Valley, leaving some homeowners in limbo.

"I ran into a slump," says Ernest Snead. "I lost a job and had to renegotiate with them." Now Snead needs to pay $3,000 to his bank before the end of May or he could lose his property. "I'm like four months in the hole right now and they're talking about foreclosure."

He's not alone. Some figures show foreclosures are up 80 percent in Westchester in the first four months of 2008 compared to the same period last year.

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) is pushing legislation to expand a federal housing loan insurance program. According to Lowey, it will allow more homeowners to refinance mortgages at affordable rates.

Without the measure, Lowey predicts a major downward economic spiral. "Who's going to shop in the stores? What's going to happen to the malls?" Lowey asks.

Veronica Raphael counsels families at risk of foreclosure. She says most people wait too long for assistance, ignoring bills and warning letters rather than seeking help. Raphael says there's still hope for those homeowners with help from the right lender.

To see Rep. Lowey introducing foreclosure relief legislation, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

Westchester Residential Oopportunites: 1-877-WRO-4-YOU

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