Are you falling behind on your monthly mortgage payments? Have you found yourself delinquent on your loan? You are not alone. Millions of people have trouble with their mortgage every year but foreclosure can often be prevented. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. The following tips may help you avoid foreclosure.
Contact the Foreclosure Assistance Hotline
Contact Your Mortgage Lender or Servicer
Contact a HUD-Approved Housing Counselor
Check into Refinancing, Loan Modification, and Mortgage Assistance Programs
Consider a Reverse Mortgage
Contact Legal Services
Attend a Foreclosure Prevention Clinic
Apply for the Foreclosure Mediation Program
Contact the CT Association for Community Action (CAFCA)
Contact the Department of Social Service and Housing Programs
Contact the Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program
Contact Veterans Affairs
Avoid Foreclosure "Rescue" Scams
Protect Your Pet
Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants in Foreclosed Properties
Contact the Foreclosure Hotline: 1-877-472-8313
The toll-free hotline, 1-877-472-8313, is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can leave a message after hours and your call will be returned within two business days.
Contact Your Mortgage Lender or Servicer
Act early. Contact your lender as soon as you find yourself unable to make your monthly payment and make your lender aware of your financial difficulties. A workout may include reasonable options and payment plans. More than one-third of those who take initiative and seek assistance are successful in finding foreclosure alternatives.
Banks and financial institutions will often work with delinquent borrowers and find reasonable arrangements rather than foreclosing on the loans immediately.
Don’t ignore letters from your lender if you miss payments. It is important to know that if you miss several mortgage payments and your loan is in default, your lender may start foreclosure proceedings. You can make missed payments, plus any late fees, or get reviewed for mortgage assistance with your lender. It is crucial that you contact your lender since lenders who believe you are acting in good faith will be willing to work with you.
Take steps to prevent a foreclosure as soon as you realize you are having trouble making payments. Be proactive. You can:
- Take control and make or take the call. Review the terms and conditions of your mortgage. Call your lender about your options to avoid foreclosure.
- Go Pro. Find out about local, state, and national resources to assist with your finances and to work with your lender.
- Slam the scam. Scam artists try to take advantage of homeowners in default or foreclosure by charging thousands of dollars for false promises of help
- Get it done. Submit a complete application for mortgage assistance early. Your lender is required under new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules to provide a review of foreclosure options.
- Stand up for your Rights. Submit an inquiry or complaint to the Department of Banking.
- Assist in identifying solutions to your financial issues.
- Review your budget.
- Negotiate with your mortgage company to address issues, including federal and CHFA programs.
- Assist in preparing for the Judicial Foreclosure Mediation Program.
Website: HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Connecticut
Contact Homeowner’s HOPE
Homeowner’s HOPE, a service of the nonprofit Homeownership Preservation Foundation and NeighborWorks America, is a toll-free hotline to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by providing free guidance including an action plan, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1-888-995-HOPE (4673)
Contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): 860-240-4800
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Hartford Field Office can address your issues regarding HUD loans.
Contact: Suzanne Piacentini, Field Office Director
Phone: (860) 240-4800
Check out the HUD website, which offers guidance to homeowners on Avoiding Foreclosure
Check into Refinancing, Loan Modification, and Mortgage Assistance Programs
Review the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program
The Making Home Affordable Program (MHA), also known as the "Obama Plan," provides mortgage help and can help avoid foreclosure.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Look-up
For questions regarding your Fannie Mae Loan, call the Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center at 1-866-442-8570.
For questions regarding your Freddie Mac Loan, call the Freddie Mac Borrower Help Center at 301-891-4606.
Please note that the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has ended on December 31, 2018.
Contact Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA)
CHFA provides mortgage financing at rates below the conventional market to offer affordable alternatives to low and moderate income first-time homebuyers in Connecticut.
Phone: (860) 721-9501 / (877) 571-CHFA (2432)
EMAP is administered by CHFA to provide emergency mortgage assistance payments to eligible homeowners suffering a financial hardship. Assistance is in the form of a 30-year, fixed rate fully amortizing loan.
If you are a borrower already in foreclosure, you may apply/qualify for EMAP if:
- You have taken the necessary steps to negotiate with your lender directly or through a face-to-face meeting with a HUD-approved housing counselor, and
- You have been unsuccessful in resolving the delinquency/default.
The USDA Rural Housing Service has loan programs that may be available to refinance your mortgage if you are in threat of foreclosure, have a fixed rate mortgage, and depending on your household income and the location of your residence. Contact USDA for available programs, qualifications, income guidelines and loan limits.
Windham & New London Counties:
Norwich Service Center
238 West Town Street
Norwich, CT 06360
Phone: (860) 859-5218, X 200 or X 201
Tolland, Middlesex, Hartford, Litchfield, New Haven & Fairfield Counties:
Windsor Service Center
100 Northfield Drive, 4th floor
Windsor, CT 06095-4729
Phone: (860) 688-7725, X 130
Review FHA Streamlined Refinancing
FHA Streamlined Refinance allows you to reduce the interest rate on the current home loan quickly and without an appraisal.
If one or both of the homeowners on the title is over age 62, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission offer information on reverse mortgages.
CHFA offers a Reverse Annuity Mortgage that allows a low-income homeowner who is at least 70 years of age, with a need for long-term care or supportive services, to use the equity in his or her single-family home, condominium or planned unit development to provide a monthly tax-free cash payment or lump sum at the closing. Contact CHFA, at (860) 517-3502 or 1-877-571-2432.
There are multiple options for free and low-cost legal assistance in Connecticut if you have mortgage and/or foreclosure issues.
Attend the Volunteer Attorney Program (VAP)
Volunteer attorneys are available through a State of Connecticut Judicial Branch program for advice and to answer questions about foreclosure and mortgage issues. Homeowners facing foreclosure throughout Connecticut are welcome to attend at any courthouse.
The Foreclosure Volunteer Attorney Program will be held every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. See the schedule for specific 2022-2023 dates.
Please note: The schedules are subject to change due to the availability of volunteers, holidays, and inclement weather. To confirm the volunteer attorney program schedule, please call 860-263-2734.
Contact the County Bar Associations’ Lawyer Referral Service
County Bar Associations in Connecticut have a Lawyer Referral Service, with an attorney who can answer legal questions. Appointments are $25-$40 depending on the county. Services beyond the initial half hour are at the attorney’s market rate.
Hartford County* - 860-525-6052- $35 fee for 1/2 hour consultation
New Haven County - 203-562-5750 - $35 fee for 1/2 hour consultation
New London County - 860-889-9384 - $25 fee for 1/2 hour consultation
* The Hartford County Bar also covers Litchfield, Middlesex, Tolland, and Windham Counties.
Contact Statewide Legal Services
Statewide Legal Services provides free legal advice and assistance to low-income individuals with noncriminal legal matters, including landlord/tenant issues and foreclosure cases resulting in Housing Court evictions. Note: Does not currently provide foreclosure assistance.
Phone: (860) 344-0380 (Central Connecticut & Middletown), or 1-800-453-3320 (for other regions).
Reference: Foreclosure: Your Rights and Options
Visit a Court Service Center
Court Service Centers available at some Superior Court locations provide the following to Connecticut residents: free printers, fax machines, copiers, scanners, phones, electronic filing, work space, staff assistance, Notary Public Services, calendar and docket information, court forms, judicial publications, and work space.
Superior Court locations: Ansonia-Milford, Danbury, Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Meriden, Middlesex, New Britain, New Haven, Norwich, Stamford, Tolland, Waterbury, and Windham.
Contact the Consumer Law Project for Elders (CLPE): 1-800-296-1467
Consumer Law Project for Elders (CLPE), a service of Statewide Legal Services, provides free legal assistance to Connecticut seniors 60 and over who have consumer questions or problems, including debt collection, predatory lending and identity theft. Note: Does not offer foreclosure services.
The Connecticut Fair Housing Center offers homeowners at risk of foreclosure the opportunity to schedule a free Foreclosure Advice Virtual Meeting to speak with an attorney and receive advice about foreclosure. Eligible participants will be able to schedule 15-minute appointments on set dates with an attorney.
Phone: 1-888-247-4401 or toll free: 888-247-4401
Reference: Representing Yourself in Foreclosure: A Guide for Connecticut Homeowners
The Connecticut Fair Housing Center, a non-profit agency in Hartford, serves as a resource for borrowers, housing counselors, consumer attorneys, and policy makers on foreclosure prevention, responsible lending, and mortgage lending discrimination.
Foreclosure is a court process and you must follow the process carefully to protect your rights. If you have been served with a summons and complaint and cannot hire an attorney to represent you or you do not qualify for free legal assistance, you may represent yourself. The Judicial Department offers FAQs for persons who wish to represent themselves in court, which includes information about filing an Appearance form. Filing an Appearance entitles you to receive all court notices and calendars concerning your foreclosure at the address you provide in the Appearance.
Foreclosure Mediation Program is a voluntary program that was established in 2008, by the Chief Court Administrator in each judicial district to assist homeowners whose one-to-four family, owner-occupied residential property in Connecticut is the subject of a foreclosure action. The homeowner/borrower must file a Foreclosure Mediation Certificate form (JD-CV-108), and an Appearance form (JD-CL-12). These forms must be filed not more than fifteen (15) days from the return date on the Summons.
If you have questions about the Foreclosure Mediation Program, please contact Julia Xia at 860-263-2734, ext. 3041, or email her at Yujia.Xai@jud.ct.gov.
Connecticut's 12 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) help people meet immediate needs through services such as eviction and foreclosure prevention, energy/heating assistance, food pantries, and Weatherization. CAAs also empower people to improve their financial future through employment services, financial literacy training, and other programs.
To locate your local CAA visit the Connecticut Association for Community Action, or call (860) 832-9438.
2-1-1 is a partnership between the State of Connecticut and United Way of Connecticut to provide a single source of information to Connecticut residents to assist them in locating community services, human services and crisis intervention services in your area. Professional call specialists help callers assess their situation and find appropriate services using a comprehensive database of human service resources.
Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, United Way’s 2-1-1 Infoline, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development are founding sponsors of a free housing registry to help people find accessible and affordable rental housing in Connecticut. For information, call 1-877-428-8844 (en español, 1-877-428-8844, ext. 204).
The state-funded Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program is a project of The WorkPlace, Inc. and Capital Workforce Partners that helps homeowners increase their job skills and earning potential through customized employment services and job training scholarships.
The State of Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Office of Advocacy and Assistance provides assistance to veterans, eligible spouses and dependents in obtaining veterans benefits under federal, state and local laws.
Phone: 1-866-9CT-VETS (1-866-928-8387) for the Veterans Info Line
The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund is an agency of the State of Connecticut established to assist needy wartime veterans and their families and is administered by The American Legion. Connecticut veterans requiring assistance may contact a full-time Veterans Aid Investigator to discuss their situation, the assistance that might be available and how to apply. Assistance, which may include help with mortgage interest payments, is provided for temporary periods only.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Guaranty Program assists eligible veterans, active duty personnel, Reserve members and National Guard personnel with purchasing and retaining a home. If you have a VA loan and are having a problem making payments, the program may be able to arrange a repayment plan or other alternative to foreclosure. For home loan counseling, contact the Regional Loan Center for Connecticut at:
Phone: 1-800-827-6311 or 1-800-827-0336
People in foreclosure are frequently targeted for “foreclosure rescue scams.” Be very careful of non-lawyers who ask you to pay a fee for a counseling service, modification of an existing loan, or foreclosure prevention, or claim to be able to perform a “forensic audit” of your loan documents, regardless of their promises or claims. Many out-of-state attorneys target Connecticut residents: you should never pay attorneys that you do not meet. For more information, see Mortgage Relief Scams from the FTC and the CFPB's How to Spot and Avoid Foreclosure Relief Scams.
In some of these “rescue” scams, a con artist promises to help you save your home, but is actually intent on stealing your home or most of the equity you have accumulated in your home. According to the FTC, the following predatory scams have been reported:
- The foreclosure prevention specialist: The “specialist” really is a phony counselor who charges hefty fees in exchange for making a few phone calls or completing some paperwork that a homeowner could easily do for himself. None of the actions result in saving the home. Turning to a HUD-approved counselor for assistance is one way to avoid this type of fraud.
- The lease/buy back: Homeowners are deceived into signing over the deed to their home to a scam artist who tells them they will be able to remain in the house as a renter and eventually buy it back. Usually, the terms of this scheme are so demanding that the buy-back becomes impossible, the homeowner gets evicted, and the “rescuer” walks off with most or all of the equity.
- The bait-and-switch: Homeowners think they are signing documents to bring the mortgage current. Instead, they are signing over the deed to their home. Homeowners usually don’t know they’ve been scammed until they get an eviction notice.
Pets are not only companions, but part of the family. If you are faced with foreclosure and need to move where pets are not allowed, or if you can no longer afford to maintain your pet, please do not abandon your pet. Try to find a friend, co-worker or family member willing to accept your pet. Animal shelters and animal rescue organizations are also listed below:
Phone: 1-800-452-0114 (Newington)
SPCA of Connecticut
No Paws Left Behind, Inc.
Petfinder (for a listing of pet shelters)