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Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Through
Housing Counseling Agencies

Foreclosures across the country continue to rise, and Connecticut is no different. With an estimated 71,000 sub-prime mortgages, an estimated 8% are seriously delinquent. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are ready to assist those in need.

[Photo: Classroom Participants]
Tom Citerella, Sr., Housing Counselor and Trainer for NHS of New Haven, provides counseling services

Connecticut's 21 approved counseling agencies provide free or low-cost counseling services to assist homebuyers with purchasing a home and are there to help families and individuals keep them should they encounter trouble paying the mortgage.

One such agency, Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of New Haven (http://www.nhsofnewhaven.org/), recently joined forces with housing Development Fund, Inc. (http://www.hdf-ct.org/), Empower New Haven (http://www.empowernewhaven.org/), Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund (http://www.gnhclf.org/) and Yale Law School's Legal Services Organization (http://www.law.yale.edu/) to conduct a symposium entitled "Foreclosure Prevention: Assessing the Problem and Highlighting Intervention Techniques."

More than 100 people including housing advocates, lenders, and brokers, as well as federal, state and local officials attended. A distinguished panel presented valuable information, but most compelling were the stories told by three clients of NHS that benefited from counseling services. As a result of NHS' efforts, two of the clients were able to refinance their loans and save their homes. The third is working with attorneys to address possible fraud issues.

Under a relatively new program, FHA Secure, homeowners who are falling behind in their mortgage payments due to an adjustable rate loan resetting to a higher rate may qualify for refinancing into a safe, secure FHA-insured loan. These homeowners need to meet certain criteria including a history of on-time payments before the loan jumped to a higher rate. Since being announced in September, 2007, 1185 homeowners in Connecticut have been able to save their homes by refinancing their mortgages into an FHA loan.

If you are experiencing difficulty paying your mortgage, contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you at the first sign of trouble. To learn more about FHA, the branch of HUD that insures mortgages against default, call (800) CALL-FHA or contact a housing counseling agency. You can also visit HUD's website to find local information on how to avoid foreclosure and view events being held across the state to help those in need.

If your organization is sponsoring an activity to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, and would like to have it posted on our website, please send an e-mail message to Marilyn.Diaz@hud.gov

Content Archived: March 21, 2011

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