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Free Help for Troubled Homeowners

The York County Community Action Program and the Maine Housing Counselors Network recently hosted a free foreclosure prevention workshop in Sanford, ME. Despite a short advertising and outreach campaign leading up to the event, and a tremendous thunderstorm that night, nearly 50 individuals came through the doors seeking help to avoid foreclosure.

[Photo 1: Assembling information packets]
Bill Peters, HUD Single Family Program Support Specialist, and Jennifer Peters, York County Community Action Corporation Housing Counselor, assemble information packets for workshop attendees.
[Photo 2: One-on-one counseling]
Chris LaRoche, York County Community Action Corporation Housing Services Coordinator, provides assistance to homeowner.

Chet Randal, an attorney with Pine Tree Legal Assistance (http://www.ptla.org), started off the evening with a PowerPoint presentation that explained the foreclosure process, helped homeowners precisely define where they were in the process, presented them with possible solutions and identified possible next steps.

Attendees were then assigned to either a housing counselor from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, or an attorney specializing in foreclosure proceedings, for a free onsite consultation. The goal for the evening was to create an empowering action plan for homeowners and to take the fear of the unknown off their shoulders.

Most attendees agreed that the event “cleared up misconceptions” about the foreclosure process and taught them what they should and should not do when trying to keep their homes. Some folks expressed an appreciation for “learning where they were in the process” and for help in “prioritizing debts.” Many were most grateful to learn that there was an alternative to losing their homes – and to have a plan of action upon leaving the event.

Visit HUD/FHA’s website to learn more about avoiding foreclosure and for a list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in Maine.

Content Archived: March 21, 2011

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455