NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 8, 2013

CAI offers help for residents facing foreclosures

Community Action Inc. (CAI) is offering homeowners in the Amesbury, Newburyport and Greater Haverhill area foreclosure assistance through a statewide program called HomeCorps. HomeCorps offers free foreclosure-prevention legal services, financial counseling and eviction prevention.

CAI Community Services director Robert Gould said the foreclosure services include providing support and advocacy, budget counseling, helping families apply for available benefits and programs such as fuel and emergency food assistance and linkage to employment resources. In addition, income-eligible families who have lost their homes to foreclosure may qualify for assistance of up to $2,000 to prevent impending homelessness.

CAI is an anti-poverty agency dedicated to eliminating poverty and mitigating its effects in the Lower Merrimack Valley.

In a press release, Gould said HomeCorps operates under the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and is funded by the Massachusetts allocation from the $25 billion national settlement with the five major lenders over their servicing and foreclosure practices. The HomeCorps program uses these resources to help affected borrowers with loan modification, borrower representation and borrower recovery. To date, the Borrower Representation and Borrower Recovery initiatives have handled more than 400 cases.

“The goal of our HomeCorps program is to mitigate future impacts of the foreclosure crisis by providing advocacy to distressed borrowers, and these initiatives are making an impact,” Coakley said. “Through legal services, financial counseling and other extensive foreclosure prevention efforts, these homeowners are receiving critical assistance and relief.”

“Haverhill has the sixth largest foreclosure rate in Massachusetts,” said Gould. “With assistance from HomeCorps, CAI hopes to link residents who are going through the terrible ordeal of losing their home with services to prevent the foreclosure or assistance to help homeowners make the transition to alternate housing.”

Interested homeowners from Amesbury, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury and West Newbury may call Dianne Halloran at CAI’s Amesbury Center, 44 Friend St., Amesbury, at 978-388-2570 to schedule an appointment. Residents may also call the HomeCorps hotline at 617-573-5333.

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