Home Savers spring into action to save vet’s home in Lyndhurst

Photo by Chris Sykes
Irvington NAACP member Ed Kaiser, third from left in the top row, of the Home Savers, joined Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, Lyndhurst Mayor Robert B. Giangeruso, Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Cheryl Turner of VFW Post 1941 and other veterans at a rally on Livingston Avenue in Lyndhurst on Tuesday, Aug. 7, to protest ongoing home mortgage foreclosure.

LYNDHURST, NJ — Ed Kaiser and Home Savers traveled to Lyndhurst on Tuesday, Aug. 7, to help embattled U.S. Navy veteran Michael J. Carrano and his wife, Debbie, in their fight to stave off home mortgage foreclosure and stay in their Livingston Avenue home.

Home Savers is a group founded by former Fredericka Bey and composed of elected officials, including state Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker; members of other related organizations such as the NAACP; and others that have joined forces to find ways to help struggling homeowners fight foreclosure.

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the group stood up for the Carranos in their fight against Wells Fargo, teaming up with Lyndhurst Mayor Robert B. Giangeruso; state Assemblyman Gary Schaer; Karlito Almeda, of U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell’s office; a representative of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez’s office, Lyndhurst Commissioner Thomas DiMaggio; Cheryl Turner, a former Camptown VFW Post 1941 Commander and veterans advocate; and members of American Legion SAL Post 170 Rochelle Park.

“I’m here to support our veterans and this family, to make sure they get due process, because we haven’t been getting due process here in the state of New Jersey, in reference to the foreclosures here in the state,” said Tucker on Tuesday, Aug. 7. “We have one of the highest rates of foreclosure here in the state of New Jersey and I think we have to stand up with our veterans, who have served and protected us. It wouldn’t be fair to let them go through this alone. We should be very supportive of them and all our veterans and all the people … in reference to the foreclosures.”

Tucker, who sits on the Assembly’s Veterans Affairs Committee, said she traveled to Lyndhurst because “we have to stand strong and stay together, so we can help our people … fight this foreclosure epidemic.” She also said she was there in support of legislation she co-sponsored that’s currently making its way through the Assembly, designed to put the brakes on all home mortgage foreclosures by imposing a two-year moratorium.

“Put the brakes on it, because I think it’s being done unfairly, without due process, without the proper notifications. They’re not having the proper people working,” Tucker said. “You can’t find out who’s actually holding their mortgages until it’s in foreclosure or they’re about ready for sheriff’s sales. So I think the process just has to be revisited, to make sure that everybody gets the proper due process in foreclosures.”

“I’m here to support the veterans. I’m here to support my friend Mike Carrano,” said Giangeruso on Tuesday, Aug. 7. “I believe that they’ve been treated unfairly. They should have been notified before they foreclosed on their home. They should have also had the chance to go for counseling.”

Schaer said the foreclosure process is one, “that’s antiquated and hurts people … a process that’s hurting our veterans, the people that put their lies on the line for us. This is not the way that they should be treated. They need to be put on a pedestal for all that they’ve done for all of our communities here in the great state of New Jersey,” on Tuesday, Aug. 7. “Today is an opportunity to stand together with them. Every day is an opportunity to stand together with them and we’re pleased and honored to do so.”

The Carranos thanked everyone who came to their home on Tuesday, Aug. 7, and worked with them behind the scenes in the days and weeks leading up to the press conference and protest.

“We’re here with the veterans supporting us, Sen. Menendez’ staff is behind us and we’re all trying to save our home here in Lyndhurst,” said Michael Carrano on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

According to Kaiser, of Home Savers, Menendez and his aides were instrumental in getting a judge to order Wells Fargo to do for the Carranos what Tucker’s pending legislation would do for everyone in New Jersey threatened with home mortgage foreclosure. He said the senator’s aide, Jeremy Julis, wrote letters to HUD and Wells Fargo that are credited with causing the federal agency and the bank to delay the foreclosure process until the Carranos can get their information sorted out.

“If it wasn’t for him getting those letters out, things would have been different,” said Kaiser on Thursday, Aug. 7. “He’s the one that, when we went down with Michael and his wife and showed them the documents. He said ‘this is ridiculous.’ Then he wrote the letters to HUD and Wells Fargo and, when we went to the judge in court, he tried to call the agency and the bank, too, and couldn’t get anywhere either, so the judge gave the guy 90 days to get everything straightened out. The loan on the Carranos house was an FHA loan. That’s the kind of loan that’s in Newark, East Orange, Irvington; that a lot of non-veterans have. That’s why I jumped on this case when I saw it.”