Struggling Homeowners Invited to Free Foreclosure-Prevention Workshop in Hartford, Connecticut, on Feb. 14, 2009 Struggling Homeowners Invited to Free Foreclosure-Prevention Workshop in Hartford, Connecticut, on Feb. 14, 2009

January 27, 2009

Out of concern for borrower privacy, media are not invited to the event itself. However, industry and sponsoring officials will be available for interviews before the event.

For more information, please contact:
Thomas L. Lavelle, 617-973-3647
Joel Werkema, 617-973-3510
Kate McGann, 202-683-3143
Chris Harper-Fahey, 617-585-5031

Concerned borrowers can meet face-to-face with their lender or loan servicer, and housing counselors, to begin to clarify and take steps to improve their current situation. All are welcome, including borrowers in central and western Massachusetts as well as Connecticut.

Connecticut Convention Center
100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, Connecticut

Saturday, February 14, 2009
10 AM to 4 PM

A foreclosure prevention workshop for struggling homeowners will take place at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut, on Saturday, February 14, from 10 AM to 4 PM. The event is supported by the governors of Connecticut and Massachusetts, U.S. Senators Dodd and Lieberman, and other public officials. It is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the HOPE NOW Alliance, and NeighborWorks® America. [quotes from all principals are appended to this release]

The event brings together distressed borrowers and mortgage loan servicers for one-on-one conversations about resolving difficult loan situations and avoiding foreclosure. The goal is to provide a venue where borrowers can begin to clarify and take steps to improve their current situation, ideally beginning a process that leads to averting foreclosure. Sponsors are targeting borrowers in Springfield and Worcester, MA, as well as Connecticut.

In addition to loss-mitigation and workout representatives of loan servicers, borrowers will be able to meet with foreclosure-prevention counselors from nonprofit organizations, who can help borrowers assess their options and the best way forward.

Borrowers should bring documentation for their income, expenses, debts, and mortgage to the workshop so they are fully prepared to talk with their lender or servicer and housing counselors.

For more information, borrowers are invited to call the event hotline, 1-800-882-1600. Borrowers who call this number can leave their name, questions about the event, and a callback number. Information is also available on a Federal Reserve Bank web site, Directions to the Connecticut Convention Center are available on the 800 number and the web site.

The event is free and open to all borrowers in difficulty. No invitation is required to attend. Some borrowers are being alerted to the event by their lender or loan servicer, and others are being alerted by direct mail postcards sent to publicly available addresses (from Registries of Deeds) of borrowers who took out subprime loans in recent years. Elected officials and civic and community leaders are also working to alert their constituents to this opportunity.

HOPE NOW, one of the co-sponsors, is an alliance of HUD approved counseling agents, servicers, investors, and other mortgage market participants organized to provide free foreclosure-prevention assistance. NeighborWorks America, also a co-sponsor, is a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts. The NeighborWorks network includes more than 230 community-based organizations in 50 states. As part of the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston serves New England and the nation through policy-making, research and analysis, regulatory oversight, and financial services.

Quotes from Workshop Organizers and Supporters:

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell:
"The number of families facing foreclosure, burdensome subprime mortgages and declining home values has skyrocketed over the past 12 months right here in Connecticut and around the country. In fact, I sought changes to our laws last year to tackle these record-high foreclosure rates," said Governor M. Jodi Rell. "Next month's free Foreclosure-Prevention Workshop in Hartford provides expert counsel from leading industry professionals who can help struggling borrowers avoid foreclosure and overcome the current difficulties related to homeownership. I encourage homeowners to take advantage of it."

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick:
"I know that homeowners are struggling under the weight of unaffordable mortgages and many are unsure where to turn for help," said Governor Patrick. "This workshop presents folks with an opportunity to sit down one-on-one with their lender so they can start to work on solutions."

U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd:
"I am continuing to work in Washington to develop stronger approaches to stemming foreclosures on a much broader scale, and I am committed to providing additional tools to the Obama Administration to do that on an urgent basis. President Obama has made clear he intends to do that, and to commit substantial funding for this effort. At the same time, the industry must do much more to help. Every single time we help a Connecticut family save a home we have prevented a disaster both for that family and for their neighbors. I hope that this workshop will enable Connecticut residents who participate to work with their servicer and save their home."

U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman:
"The crisis in housing markets plays a central role in the broader economic crisis, and it takes a toll on the economic confidence of all Americans. Anything we can do to help troubled homeowners address their situation is valuable. This workshop offers Connecticut residents who may be concerned about their home a valuable opportunity to meet with their servicer, learn what their options are, and take steps that may help them hold on to their home."

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President and CEO Eric S. Rosengren:
"This workshop is similar to one we held at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts last August," said Eric S. Rosengren, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. "We cannot promise miracles, but we hope that for many homeowners, the discussions that take place at the workshop begin a process that averts foreclosure."

HOPE NOW Alliance Executive Director Faith Schwartz:
"We are pleased to be able to hold a Homeownership Preservation Workshop in the Hartford area and are dedicated to doing as much as we can to keep as many people in their homes as possible," said Faith Schwartz, executive director of the HOPE NOW Alliance. "From July of 2007 through September of 2008, more than 20,200 Connecticut residents avoided foreclosure because of our efforts, but we know there is still more to be done."

Kenneth D. Wade, Chief Executive Officer, NeighborWorks® America:
"We know that families facing foreclosure are in crisis mode and they need neutral, expert guidance to help them understand their options. The counselors in the NeighborWorks network can help troubled borrowers make informed decisions at foreclosure-prevention events like this one, as well as on site at community organizations around the country. NeighborWorks America also partners with the Homeownership Preservation Foundation's Homeowner's HOPE Hotline (888-995-HOPE) to provide assistance over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Mortgage Lenders / Servicers Attending ( as of January 26):
American Home
Bank of America
Freddie Mac
Select Portfolio
Washington Mutual
Wells Fargo
List is preliminary; please check web site or call 1-800-882-1600 for updated list.