New York homeowners will be able to tap into expanded financial assistance after Goldman Sachs agreed to a $5 billion settlement over its past lending practices leading up to the Great Recession with a mortgage working group led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement funds will be used to help struggling homeowners, particularly through the State’s Mortgage Assistance Program (NYS-MAP), Schneiderman’s office said.
“These dollars will immediately go to work funding proven programs and services to help New Yorkers keep their homes and rebuild their communities,” the state attorney general said in a statement. “We’ve witnessed the incredible impact these programs and services can have in helping communities recover from the financial crisis.”
“We are pleased to put these legacy matters behind us,” Michael DuVally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman told HousingWire. “Since the financial crisis, we have taken significant steps to strengthen our culture, reinforce our commitment to our clients, and ensure our governance processes are robust.”
Under the settlement, $480 million will go toward families and communities in New York State, specifically for mortgage assistance, principal forgiveness, land banks and land trusts, and the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing.
Those funds will also “facilitate a significant expansion” of the NYS-MAP program that has helped hundreds of New Yorkers so far to restructure their debts and keep their homes, Schneiderman’s office said. Since December 2014, NYS-MAP has helped 668 borrowers to avoid foreclosure. Homeowners apply through a partner organization in the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program. The Center currently administers the program on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office. According to the settlement documents, Goldman Sachs agreed to allocate funds for debt restructuring “consistent with the terms and conditions” of NYS-MAP.
The Attorney General’s Office estimates that several thousand more homeowners could avoid foreclosure with the expansion of NYS-MAP due to the Goldman Sachs settlement.
Schneiderman’s office provided this breakdown of the relief under the settlement: $220 million for debt restructuring; $30 million for land banks and land trusts; $30 million for code enforcement; $150 million for first-lien principal reduction; and $50 million for the creation and preservation of affordable housing.
The settlement was negotiated by the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, which previously reached agreements with J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank and Morgan Stanley.
To learn more about NYS-MAP, homeowners can reach the Center by dialing 311 in New York City and asking for the Center for NYC Neighborhoods or by dialing 855-HOME-456.