Helping You Protect Your House and Home
CELJ’s Foreclosure Prevention Project (FPP) helps homeowners who are in danger of losing their home due to mortgage foreclosure. Attorneys and paralegals in this unit can assist clients with understanding their options, responding to legal documents and provide representation in court. In order to qualify for services, you have to live in the home and reside in Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming or Genesee County. There are no age or income restrictions, and our services are free. FPP is a partnership with the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo and the Western New York Law Center, and is funded by the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program.

FPP holds free informational workshops twice a month, on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. The workshops are open to the public and you do not have to be an existing client- you can attend just to learn more about the foreclosure process and resources that are available in the community.

Can’t make it to the workshop? Take a look at some of the guides:

Foreclosure FAQ’s

Foreclosure Glossary

Steps of a Foreclosure in New York

Senior person's hands holding paper cutout of a home with an old key on top






New York’s foreclosure process can be long- the average foreclosure takes two years. There are required notices that your mortgage lender must send to you before they can start the court process. After you receive the first legal papers (summons & complaint), you will receive a letter from the court with a date for you to come to court for a settlement conference. You or your attorney should attend the conference if you want to keep your home.

FPP attorneys are available at the settlement conferences and we can get your information to see if you qualify for our services. The foreclosure action is on hold while you work through the settlement conference process. The conferences are meant to see if there is a way to keep you in your home, usually by applying for a loan modification. For more information about the process, download some of the informational materials available above or attend a workshop.

I just received a summons and complaint, do I need to move immediately?

No. The foreclosure process in NY is very long, and you do not need to move unless the property is sold at auction, which is the last step in the foreclosure process. You can, and in most cases, should, continue to live in your home throughout the process. If you have received a summons and complaint, and wish to respond to the papers yourself, there is a standard answer form that you can use. Download it here.

I am behind on my payments and now the mortgage company will not let me pay anything except the full amount due. Why?

After you have missed a number of payments, the bank will accelerate your loan and only accept the entire amount that you are behind. Once the loan is accelerated, the lender is no longer required to accept payments.

I am not in foreclosure yet, but I need help applying for a loan modification - can you help me?

If you need assistance applying for a loan modification or other payment agreement with the lender, you can contact a HUD housing counseling agency for free assistance from a housing counselor. They can help you with a loan modification application and work with your lender on your behalf. To locate housing counseling agencies in Western New York, call 855-HOME-456.

I paid a company to help me get out of foreclosure. Is this a scam?

Unfortunately, there are many companies that claim to help homeowners in foreclosure, but do not actually provide quality services. The NY Attorney General’s Office has a site where you can see if the company is legitimate and search for approved resources and help. AGScamHelp, FPP, and HUD housing counselors provide services for free.

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