Hawley Reminds Homeowners: SONYMA Can Help Keep The Dream

State of New York Mortgage Agency’s Keep the Dream Program Helps Prevent Foreclosure
September 12, 2007

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) would like to remind the public that the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) has a new program designed to help eligible New York households with risky mortgages to avoid possible foreclosure. The program, called Keep the Dream, will enable families with adjustable rates, interest-only or other “exotic” mortgages to refinance with the help of SONYMA and obtain a 30-year or 40-year fixed rate mortgage, at competitive interest rates.

“SONYMA’s new Keep the Dream program is a great opportunity for New Yorkers to avoid foreclosure in today’s failing housing market. It is a wonderful chance for families to start over and avoid the threat of losing their home and I encourage everyone to look into this program,” said Hawley.

Homeowners (of single-family homes, condominiums and cooperatives) are eligible if they can demonstrate that they have experienced a mortgage payment hardship or will experience a mortgage payment hardship in the near future. Homeowners must currently live within the home being financed. The program is also open to borrowers who are less than 60 days behind on their mortgage payments because of a payment increase. In Western New York, eligible candidates can have incomes up to 125 percent of the area’s median income. The following are the annual income limits for the counties within the 139th Assembly District:

  • Genesee County: $72,250
  • Monroe County: $77,500
  • Niagara County: $74,120
  • Orleans County: $77,500

A SONYMA Keep the Dream loan can be as high as $417,000. Financing is available for up to 100 percent of the value of the borrower’s property. Proceeds of the mortgage can be used to pay prepayment penalties, closing costs and pay off most second mortgages. However, proceeds cannot be used to repay debt or expenses. All borrowers who qualify for Keep the Dream refinancing will be required to complete a homebuyer education course with a federal- or state-approved not-for-profit organization. A list of eligible counseling services will be provided to applicants. Borrowers must also agree to participate in early delinquency intervention counseling, should they become delinquent for 30 days or more on their refinanced mortgage.

To apply for SONYMA’s Keep the Dream program, please visit SONYMA’s official website at www.nyhomes.org. A list of participating lenders across the state is available (in our Western New York area this list includes M&T Bank and Nothnagle Home Securities Corporation) on the website as well as application materials. For questions or other information, please feel free to call SONYMA at 1-800-382-HOME (4663).