Connecticut residents who are behind on mortgage payments or underwater on their home loans can discuss foreclosure prevention options with lenders on Oct. 22 at a day-long mortgage assistance event at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
The free event will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and include representatives from more than a dozen lenders including Bank of America, CitiMortgage, First Niagara Bank, HSBC National Bank USA, JPMorgan Chase & Co., McCue Mortgage, Nationstar Mortgage, Ocwen Loan Servicing, People’s United Bank, PNC Mortgage, U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, Webster Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The Hartford event will be the sixth such program the state has sponsored. So far, more than 5,000 Connecticut homeowners have taken advantage of the opportunity for help.
At a Tuesday press conference, Attorney General George Jepsen said the mortgage assistance events “work.”
“I’ve attended all but one of them. Every time I’ve been to one of these events, I’ve had homeowners come up to me with messages like ‘I got more done today in an hour and a half than I did in the last two years on the phone with the banks,’” Jepsen said.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said a recently adopted law allows the state to “hold banks’ feet to the fire” during the mediation process by requiring lenders to send a representative with the authority to make decisions regarding the homeowners loan.
“Banks act differently when someone is looking over their shoulder, and this is an event when people will be looking over their shoulder,” he said.
Housing counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also will attend the event, as will pro-bono attorneys, foreclosure mediators from the Judicial Branch, members of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, and other government and nonprofit groups.
The goal is to give homeowners a place to work through the loan review process, or to get an answer from their lender on a loan modification application if they have all the necessary paperwork. Ideally, homeowners and lenders can work out a solution that keeps the owner in their home, Malloy said.
“If somebody can show that they can sustain themselves in a residence, we’re going to do everything we can to keep them in that residence. It’s the best thing we can do for that neighborhood,” Malloy said. “. . . In some cases that’s not possible and getting to that answer sooner rather than later is also important.”
Homeowners seeking more information including a list of documents to bring to the mortgage assistance event can visit the state Banking Department’s website at www.ct.gov/dob/homeowner