About 500 people jam the box office vestibule Tuesday at...

About 500 people jam the box office vestibule Tuesday at the Nassau Coliseum, waiting on line for the start of a clinic for mortgage modification with lenders. (April 28, 2010) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

More than 2,300 borrowers tried to save their homes by descending on Nassau Coliseum over a three-day mortgage modification marathon, which ended Friday night.

The event averaged more than 750 people a day according to organizers, less than the 1,500 capacity.

"We had certainly planned for and hoped for a larger turnout," said Alvina McHale, spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department office that oversees Making Home Affordable, the homeowner rescue program.

Federal officials and the Hope Now alliance of industry and nonprofits will pore over results at the Coliseum, from the number of trial or promised modifications made there to whether exit surveys showed homeowners felt they got guidance.

"A lot of these discussions are hard and emotional," McHale said. "Sometimes it is not possible to save people's homes. . . . But the important thing is to get people to a decision."

The event, as well as others like it around the nation, was a chance for homeowners to plead their cases one-on-one with lenders or loan servicers. During the past few years, many borrowers have complained of being unable to get through to their lenders or of sending required documents for loan modifications, only to be told they're not in the files.

Figures on how many were able to get some sort of early modification, pending approval and verification of documents, were not available Friday.

But the number is likely to be affected by one problem. McHale said borrowers were not as prepared in bringing documents as those at other events.

Organizers watched for modification scams, asking homeowners to alert them if anyone approached asking for their titles or money and promising to negotiate for them. One man was escorted out on Wednesday after trying to sell his services.

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