Operation Protect Your Home Comes To Long Island

Craig M. Johnson

May 22, 2008

Senator Johnson, County Executive Suozzi, Host Foreclosure Relief Forum 

Long Island homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure will be able to have their loans reviewed by bank and mortgage servicing company representatives on Saturday, June 7, during a forum hosted by Senator Craig M. Johnson and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.  

The event is the latest part of Operation Protect Your Home, a program aimed at helping those at risk of foreclosure that is jointly sponsored by members of the State Senate with participation by the New York State Banking Department and various lending institutions and counseling agencies.  

More than 4,000 letters have been sent to at-risk homeowners in the area inviting them to participate at the forum, which will be held from noon to 7 p.m. at the Joseph M. Barry Career and Technical Educational Center (BOCES), 1196 Prospect Ave., Westbury. During this event, mortgage lenders, counselors and attorneys will work with individual borrowers on identifying potential ways to prevent unnecessary foreclosures. Various agencies present at the forum will provide information about government programs.  Additionally, there will be a series of presentations promoting financial literacy, with particular focus on credit and foreclosure. The meetings are free and open to the public. However, invited borrowers whose mortgages are scheduled to reset or borrowers who are already late on their payments will have priority. 

“Nassau has been bearing the brunt of this foreclosure crisis,” Senator Johnson, (D-Nassau), said. “It is our hope that by bringing the banks and the homeowners together here, we can replicate and build upon the success that Operation Protect Your Home has had in other parts of the state. I thank County Executive Suozzi for partnering with us in this critically important program.”    

As of April, there were 911 foreclosed properties in Nassau County, accounting for 32 percent of all foreclosures in the five boroughs, as well as Nassau and Westchester counties, according to a report released by Senate Deputy Minority Leader Jeff Klein, who spearheaded Operation Protect Your Home. The communities of Elmont and Westbury had the second and third highest number of bank-owned properties in Nassau, with 70 and 48 properties respectively.  

“The loss of a home during a financial crisis is personally devastating,” said County Executive Suozzi. “This program will bring homeowners, banks and counselors together to mitigate losses and prevent unnecessary foreclosures.  We will do our best to offer Nassau County residents any assistance that will help those at risk of losing their homes.  I thank Senator Johnson for taking this initiative.”

The Westbury event is the latest in a series of Operation Protect Your Home forums that have been held across the state.  To date, this program has helped more than 1,600 working and middle class families from Brooklyn to Buffalo avoid foreclosure.  

Lender representatives from Countrywide, Chase, Citi, Option One, Home Loan Services, Ocwen, Wells Fargo, Wilshire, and WAMU will be participating in the forum.  

For more information on the forum, contact Abdul Hakim, Director of Community Affairs for Senator Craig M. Johnson, at 516.746.5923.