Keeping properties alive for Binghamton

By Brandi Bailey

February 21, 2014 Updated Feb 21, 2014 at 6:21 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stopped by Binghamton, what's become ground zero for foreclosures in the Southern Tier.

He's stumping for a statewide program to help keep people in their homes. It's called the Homeowner Protection Program or HOPP.

It started in October 2012 as a way to help people to stay in their homes, or close the gap between when a property goes into foreclosure and when a bank or municipality can take it over.

The program stems from the housing crisis in 2008.

Twenty-four thousand New Yorkers statewide are involved in the program.

Since its start, HOPP has allocated $60 million in funding for counseling and legal services.

Already helping 650 homeowners in Broome County, it's the county with the largest number of foreclosed or abandoned properties in the Southern Tier.

"People call this a perfect storm. This was not a storm. This was not an earthquake. This was a man made crisis. There was some reckless deregulation," Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman has also proposed new legislation to raise the maximum allowable number of Land Banks from 10 to 20.