Homeowners at Risk of Foreclosure
Donít go it Alone
by Rose Holbrook
Marketing & Customer Service Coordinator
Connecticut Housing Finance Authority
Posted: February 18, 2010
When a homeowner is anticipating a foreclosure notice, the first step to take is foreclosure prevention. But where should homeowners go? Who should they speak to? What will it cost to get help so they wonít lose their home? Many homeowners are unaware that there are programs and assistance available to help them keep their homes. The good news is that they donít have to go it alone.
HUD-approved counseling agencies can work with homeowners, free of charge, to guide them through the foreclosure prevention process. Counselors have been certified by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Counselors can help homeowners negotiate loan modifications or workout other arrangements with their lenders. They can also refer homeowners to federal and state programs as well as other assistance to help with their particular situation. A loan modification provides the ability to change the terms of an existing mortgage to make it more affordable. In some cases, counselors can negotiate a forbearance plan which provides the ability for a homeowner to catch up on delinquent payments over a certain period of time. Even if a homeowner has not yet received a foreclosure notice, it is to their advantage to seek help as soon as possible by contacting a HUD-approved counseling agency. A list of these agencies can be found at HUDís website: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm. Select Connecticut to see a complete alphabetical listing with addresses, phone and fax numbers as well as e-mail addresses with the types of services provided which include loss mitigation and mortgage delinquency assistance.
There are programs authorized through the State Legislature which are available to Connecticut residents who are delinquent or in foreclosure or anticipate becoming delinquent due to a financial hardship. In addition, Connecticut is the first state in the country to have a successful Judicial Mediation Program for homeowners who are in the midst of a foreclosure. This program assists homeowners and lenders in reaching fair, voluntary, negotiated agreements with the help of a mediator who is trained in mediation and foreclosure law.
The Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) is a loan program is available to assist eligible homeowners pay their mortgage if they have fallen behind on their payments for their owner-occupied home or anticipate falling behind due to a temporary financial hardship beyond their control. EMAP assistance is available for up to 60 months.
The Connecticut Fair Alternative Mortgage Lending Initiative and Education Services (CT FAMLIES) Program is a refinance program available to delinquent homeowners. It can also provide second mortgage financing to help when there is a gap between the appraised value of the home and the remaining balance on the mortgage up to $15,000.
For more information on foreclosure prevention programs, please call the CHFA Call Center at 1-877-571-2432. The call center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Information on EMAP and CT FAMLIES is also available at www.chfa.org. Help is only a phone call away!
Previous Articles Written by Rose Holbrook