WC launches new program for homeowners
Westchester County officials unveiled a new program Friday intended to help people avoid foreclosures and save neighborhoods hit hard by the economic crisis.
Westchester County Executive Andy Spano presented the aid program in the living room of Marina and Jorge Schiefer, who settled in White Plains after emigrating from Argentina 10 years ago. In 2008, the adjustable rate on their mortgage jumped to almost $4,000 a month.
The Schiefers turned to Westchester Residential Opportunities, a non-profit organization working with the county to help families facing a mortgage crisis. By that time, the Schiefers were three months behind in their payments.
WRO helped work out county-funded loan modifications, which dramatically reduced the Schiefers? interest rate.
"These people work a lot for us, and they fight," says Jorge Schiefer. ?And finally we saved the house."
County officials point out that the main goal of the county's program is not to prevent foreclosures, but rather to give homeowners an opportunity to save their homes themselves.
"Westchester County is the only county that I know of that has made rescue funds available that can directly be given to a homeowner," says WRO Executive Director Geoffrey Anderson.
For interviews about the county program that helps homeowners facing foreclosure, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Channel 612.