Foreclosure prevention clinic held

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Dec. 16, 2011
State Rep. Tim Larson, state Rep. Henry Genga and state Sen. Gary Lebeau sponsored a foreclosure information workshop for East Hartford homeowners at the Raymond Library Dec. 15. Photos by Frances Taylor.
State Rep. Tim Larson, state Rep. Henry Genga and state Sen. Gary Lebeau sponsored a foreclosure information workshop for East Hartford homeowners at the Raymond Library Dec. 15. Photos by Frances Taylor.

With hundreds of homes being lost to foreclosure in Connecticut, three local legislators recently sponsored a foreclosure prevention clinic to help homeowners understand the process and know their rights.

State representatives Tim Larson (D-11) and Henry Genga (D-10), and state Sen. Gary Lebeau (D-3) held the clinic, which featured representatives of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, at the Raymond Library on Dec. 15.

“We're trying to help keep alive the American dream,” Genga said. “A person's home is their kingdom. We're looking to provide resources to people in this situation so they can get help.”

Genga said he referred a woman to the banking department who was facing foreclosure and called his office. “She had a mortgage that was $1,800, and the investor that bought her mortgage would not work with her,” Genga said. With the help the woman received from the mortgage foreclosure assistance hotline, Genga said she was able to get her payment reduced to $800, which she could afford, and she was able to stay in her home.

According to a housing database, about 125 homes in East Hartford are currently in foreclosure. The value of homes in town has plunged 30 percent in recent years, which could spell trouble for even more homeowners, particularly those looking to sell their homes.

“Keeping people in their homes is our priority,” said Larson, who is a member of banking committee in the legislature. Resources available to homeowners include monthly workshops sponsored by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, which give homeowners the opportunity to meet one-on-one with volunteer attorneys and para-legals, and the Mortgage Crisis Job Training program, which can assist struggling homeowners to receive employment training and job placement assistance.

“This economy is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes,” Lebeau said. “As legislators, we want to do whatever we can to help.”

For more information, call Connecticut Fair Housing, 1-888-247-4401, www.ctfairhousing.org; Mortgage Foreclosure Assistance Hotline, 1-877-472-8313, www.ct.gov/dob; Mortgage Crisis Job Training program, 1-866-683-1682, www.workplace.org/mortgage.asp.


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