The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority recently landed two more federal grants to put towards its much needed counseling programs for homeowners facing foreclosure.
"It was just around Christmas time that I was being laid off," said Jennifer Williams Tucker, a homeowner from Avon.
Tucker was laid off from her job in the insurance industry in December 2009 and it happened just two weeks after she closed on her condo where she lives with her three children. Making ends meet was tough so she turned to a foreclosure prevention counselor at the Urban League, under a program funded by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.
"It can be extremely humbling at times however when you have children and you have a family that you need to take care of you have to do whatever it takes," said Tucker.
She worked out a budget, modified her mortgage through another program, and is now able to pay her bills.
Homeowners who go through foreclosure prevention counseling are 67 percent more likely to keep their home after working out a new deal with a bank, according to CHFA.
"It’s really quite amazing what the outcomes are with the assistance of a counselor on the foreclosure prevention counseling," said Dara Kovel, the Chief Housing Officer at CHFA.
CHFA funds counseling programs at 17 agencies around the state, partially through grants. The programs either help people before they become homeowners or after they buy a home and run into financial trouble.
CHFA recently landed more than $338, 036 in counseling grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Neighborworks National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program. They've received more than $3 million in counseling grants from those two sources since 2009.
"We have learned from the sub-prime mortgage crisis that making well informed decisions going into purchasing a home is absolutely essential for your long term or economic stability, financial health," said Kovel.
Tucker is now getting by, working three part time jobs and going to nursing school. She's determined to get back on track thanks to the counseling and other assistance she's received.
"A lot of us are faced with this crisis and a lot of us really didn't have any other choice," said Tucker.
Last year, more than 1,600 Connecticut homeowners received foreclosure prevention counseling through CHFA-funded programs and 1,800 people took advantage of counseling before purchasing a home, according to CHFA.
For more information on CHFA-funded foreclosure counseling agencies: click here.