Senators Johnson, Klein, To Hold Sub-prime Mortgage Forum In Elmont

Craig M. Johnson

August 01, 2007

ELMONT – Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Port Washington), will host a forum on the epidemic of predatory mortgages on Tuesday, August 7, at the Elmont Memorial Library.

The forum, which will last from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is the latest in a series of statewide public hearings headed by Senator Jeff Klein, (D-Bronx/Westchester), that examines the pitfalls of sub-prime mortgages. Assemblyman Tom Alfano, (R-Elmont), will also be a member of the forum's panel.

The evidence and testimony gathered during these hearings will help develop legislative safeguards that will protect consumers and hold unscrupulous lenders accountable, Senator Johnson said.

“This is a part of the banking industry that currently operates with little transparency and accountability,” Johnson said. “Many sub-prime lenders operate ethically and fulfill a very important function of providing mortgages to those who are otherwise unable to receive one. But, we need to protect our residents from companies that seek to take advantage of those who want to fulfill the American Dream.”

Sub-prime mortgages are commonly offered to individuals whose credit history prevents them from securing a low-rate loan. Since they are at a high risk of default, they receive less than favorable terms that include high interest rates, fees and upfront costs.

Many people are drawn into these loans by a low introductory rate, which sharply increases within a few years, making it difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with monthly payments.

The Senate Democratic Conference recently released a report that showed more than 20 percent ofthe sub-prime mortgages originated in 2005 will result in foreclosure, placing more than 28,000 families at risk.

In Long Island, 22 percent of these sub-prime mortgages are expected to end in foreclosure, placing it among the top 20 regions in the United States.

Those who wish to participate in the forum, or submit written testimony, can contact Abdul Hakim,Community Liaison for Senator Craig Johnson, by phone at (516) 746-5923, or by fax at (516) 746-5926.

Other panelists include, Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith, Senator Martin Connor, Assemblyman Darryl Towns, and Assemblywoman Annette Robinson.

The Elmont Public Library is located at 700 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont.

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