Protect our Homes/Homeowner Protection Program

Mortgage Enforcement Unit (MEU)

The Attorney General is committed to protecting New York State homeowners who suffered a financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of that effort, the OAG’s Mortgage Enforcement Unit (MEU) is helping to oversee the distribution of New York State’s Homeowner Assistance Fund. The MEU will work with other state partners to ensure that HAF supplements rather than replaces the mortgage industry’s own homeowner relief efforts, so that these funds can protect as many homeowners as possible.

Homeowners who want more information about HAF grants or to apply for help should visit NYS Homeowner Assistance Fund or call 1-844-77-NYHAF (1-844-776-9423).

For more information about the MEU’s efforts to protect New York homeowners, see the Attorney General’s announcement and letter to the mortgage servicing industry.

Additionally, protect yourself from scams!

  • Read the Attorney General’s latest alerts about scams targeting NY homeowners in 10 languages.
  • If you are a homeowner who wants to report a scam related to HAF assistance or other loan modification services, please file a complaint with the OAG’s Consumer Frauds Bureau at this link or call the OAG's Consumer Helpline at 1-800-771-7755.
  • For other information about COVID-19 resources, visit Guidance on Coronavirus Resources.

Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP)

Since 2012, the Office of the Attorney General and New York State have dedicated over $150 million to fund a network of nearly 90 legal services and housing counseling organizations to provide homeowners with free, qualified mortgage assistance relief services across New York.

The HOPP Program is designed to ensure that no family in New York State ever loses their home because they do not have access to a lawyer or qualified housing counselor.

Services include:

  • Assistance with applying for a loan modification, or other types of loss mitigation;
  • Direct representation in court proceedings, including settlement conferences;
  • Homeownership counseling.

To be connected with a legal services or housing counseling organization near you, call (855) HOME-456 or visit

Protect Our Homes

In 2020, the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) launched the Protect Our Homes Initiative, which protects homeowners from deed theft scams through community education and outreach, enforcement, and policy and legislative proposals.

In deed theft scams, bad actors trick homeowners into signing over their homes. Once they are in possession of the deed, scammers seek to evict the homeowner and sell the house to a third party, taking the profit for themselves. Scammers target vulnerable homeowners – people who are elderly or disabled, those who own homes but struggle to pay ongoing expenses, and/or those who have liens for unpaid city charges. Scams take a various forms – including forging signatures, misrepresenting the nature of documents or transactions, and making false promises, including that they will help the homeowner save their home. There were approximately 3,000 complaints about deed theft from 2014 to 2018 in New York City, 45% of which came from Brooklyn.

The Protect Our Homes Initiative has a joint focus on prevention and enforcement. The OAG works in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, community based organizations, and local elected officials to educate homeowners and their communities about how to recognize scams and seek legitimate help. The OAG receives and screens complaints and launches civil and criminal enforcement actions targeted at bad actors. The OAG uses this experience to develop legislative and policy solutions.

Attorney General James is committed to protecting vulnerable homeowners and encourages those who have been scammed to report complaints by calling the office (800) 771-7755 or by filling out a complaint form. The OAG cannot assist with mortgage payments; however, homeowners throughout New York State who are behind on their mortgage or other charges can get free help in their community by calling the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) hotline at (855) HOME-456 or (855) 466-3456. Any identifying information provided to the Attorney General’s office will be protected in a manner consistent with state law and policies on the safeguarding of identifying information.