SOUTH BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - For many people, the struggling economy has turned them into a struggling homeowner. But there is help when it comes to fighting foreclosure.
Foreclosure prevention specialists have heard all the horror stories.
Keisha Williams of the WNY Law Center said, "We just want him to either pay off the mortgage or, if not, we're going to foreclose."
And the stories go on and on. But there is good news: there are options and ways to keep you in your house despite financial difficulties.
Assemblyman Michael Kearns said, "If you're out of work, how can we keep you in the home? How can we work with the banks to have some type of plan in place?"
Foreclosure prevention specialists with the state and some local agencies spent Thursday at the Cazenovia Resource Center in South Buffalo. They were there for one reason: to help struggling homeowners save their homes from foreclosure.
Mark Lazzara of the Cazenovia Resource Center said, "What I'm happy about is that we have opportunity to help people. Without the government's help the banks are not going to do anything."
The five counties with highest levels of foreclosure are all in the New York City area. But the sixth highest county in recent years is Erie County.
Sarah Galvan of Legal Services of WNY said, "Our services are free. Once people start falling behind they will get mailings from companies offering to do modification work. The HUD-certified housing counselors services are free. Legal services are free."
Those services can help homeowners apply for mortgage modifications, communicate with lenders, and investigate complaints of mortgage lending abuses. Experts say the worst thing struggling homeowners can do is ignore the notices.
"Please don't wait anytime. Bring that envelope down. Talk to someone in a confidential manner. And we can get you some help," Kearns said.
Homeowners unable to meet personally with foreclosure prevention specialists are urged to the call the department's toll-free foreclosure hotline, 1-800-269-0990 or 518-457-1654, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Homeowners may also file complaints using the department website: www.dfs.ny.gov
Eighty-two-year-old Edward Spencer was making a left hand turn while exiting the Budwey's parking lot when he struck 52-year-old Sandra Garner and 55-year-old Kevin Nowak, according to authorities.
An angry mother who claims her daughter was dropped-off miles away from home wants answers.
Deputies say a teen driver fell asleep at the wheel early Thursday morning before crashing head-on with another vehicle.
Police say a Jamestown man was selling crack cocaine out of his barber shop on East Second Street.
City Hall is considering turning to taxpayers to help keep the lights on at the only movie theatre in downtown Buffalo.
Experts are being brought into Niagara Falls to deal with a rat problem that Mayor Paul Dyster calls "extraordinary," and neighbors say they have had enough.