Christine Stuart photo

In East Hartford where its been estimated that there are about 487 delinquent mortgage filings, state and local leaders Tuesday talked about a new a law that may offer some relief to an unspecified number of homeowners on the verge of losing their homes.

As many subprime loans begin hitting their balloon payments this law will “help these families get through this rough spot,” Sen. Gary LeBeau, D-East Hartford, said Tuesday.

“This is not a handout, it’s a hand up,” LeBeau said.

East Hartford Councilman Jason Rojas said East Hartford has long been a place where people move to live out the American dream and purchase their first home. He said by helping these homeowners on the verge of losing their homes, it helps the entire community and stabilizes home values in neighborhoods.

Christine Stuart phot

East Hartford Mayor Melody Currey pointed out that it’s not just the working class families in very stable neighborhoods being hit by the foreclosure crisis it’s also the luxury condo owners who live at Riverpoint.

The new law does a number of things including increasing funding for the CT Families program, which helps homeowners on the verge of missing a mortgage payment refinance their loans, and creates a program where the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority purchases a mortgage from a lender and places eligible borrowers on an affordable repayment plan.

The law also allocates about $2 million to the Judicial Branch to hire 13 mediators, one for each judicial district in the state. The mediators will sit down with the homeowner and the lender and see if they can’t resolve the debt. LeBeau said mediation doesn’t have to result in a resolution or renegotiation of the mortgage, but it will give homeowners time and access to financial counseling.

Melissa Farley, Executive Director of External Affairs for the Judicial Branch, said the branch is in the midst of hiring the mediators. The mediators are exempt from the governor’s hiring freeze.

In the meantime, Farley said the forms for the borrower’s mediation program are available in the courts and here on the Judicial Branch web site.

Here’s the number of foreclosure lawsuits filed in Hartford Superior Court on Friday, June 30:

East Hartford 2
Somers 1
Suffield 1
Hartford 5
Simsbury 1
Enfield 2
Granby 1
Manchester 1
South Windsor 1
West Hartford 4
Bloomfield 1

Total: 20 in one day