When Denise Delio arrived at the South Huntington Public Library to meet with foreclosure prevention specialists from the state Department of Financial Services, she had no hope she could save her home of 14 years from foreclosure.
After the experts told her she would be able to stay in her home, the North Babylon resident had a different outlook.
"There is hope and light at the end of the tunnel," Delio said. "This is my Mega Millions."
The free counseling last Friday was offered to Suffolk County homeowners in the midst of foreclosure or who are facing losing their home. The service is available through an ongoing program launched in February by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Counseling is done inside the department's Mobile Command Center, a 36-foot long vehicle where bank examiners and financial services employees set up shop.
So far specialists have met with homeowners in communities including Brentwood, Central Islip, Hempstead and Massapequa to assess where they are in the pre-foreclosure or foreclosure process, and to provide information about available loan modification programs.
"A lot of people are in financial trouble because they are out of work or took a job that doesn't pay what they use to earn just to have a job," said Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset). "Now they are in jeopardy of losing their biggest asset. We're here to help and give advice."
Information also was available for homeowners on how to file complaints with the state about cases of lender or mortgage servicer abuses, such as predatory lending practices.