Foreclosures in Connecticut – Topic of CPTV’s Facing the Mortgage Crisis Town Meeting on Tuesday, June 23 at 8 p.m.

Release Date: 06/08/2009

(Rebroadcasts to air Friday, June 26 at 10 p.m. and Sunday, June 28 at 10 a.m.)

According to industry experts, one in ten Connecticut homeowners is behind on mortgage payments or in foreclosure. Facing the Mortgage Crisis Town Meeting, airing live on Tuesday June 23 at 8:00 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), will address this startling statistic and make the community aware of the impact of the mortgage crisis. Journalist Steve Kotchko of CPTV’s On the Record will host the town meeting, which will feature experts from local and state agencies assisting homeowners in financial peril and representatives from the mortgage industry. The town meeting will be rebroadcast on Sunday, June 28 at 10 a.m.

Viewers will also hear from struggling homeowners who are attending the town meeting to speak out about subprime loans that almost forced their homes into foreclosure. Bridgeport homeowner Horace Bryan will give a firsthand account of how home ownership can turn into a nightmare when subprime loans are involved. Others will address the desperation of unemployed homeowners, no longer able to make mortgage payments and now reaching out for help.

Panelists will include Carol DeRosa of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). The CHFA has programs available to assist homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgages. DeRosa will speak about President Obama’s loan modification and refinancing programs as well as pending state legislation that would help homeowners in trouble. DeRosa will also warn homeowners about mortgage modification scams.

Steve Tessler of Connecticut Mortgage Services will also join the panel. Tessler, a successful Realtor turned loan officer, will answer questions about the real estate/borrowing market right now. He’ll tell viewers to “get back to basics” by building good
credit and educate people on how to obtain a manageable mortgage.

Bridgette Russell will be another panelist. Russell serves as the Managing Director for the Homeownership Center at the Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven. The group provides credit counseling, financial literacy, foreclosure intervention counseling and full cycle lending.

Viewers can call 1-800-842-2788 with their questions and comments, email mortgagecrisis@cptv.org or tweet via twitter.com at twitter.com/CPBN.

Facing the Mortgage Crisis Town Meeting will be simulcast live on WNPR and streamed at www.cptv.org and www.wnpr.org.

Facing the Mortgage Crisis Town Meeting is a CPTV production in partnership with the presenting sponsor, Webster Bank, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) with in-kind support from United Way 2-1-1. Facing the Mortgage Crisis is part of CPB’s Public Service Media Economic Response Initiative.

"Webster Bank has been helping Connecticut individuals and families to realize the dream of home ownership since the bank was founded by my father, Harold Webster Smith, 74 years ago," said Jim Smith, Webster's Chairman and CEO. "At Webster, we know that homeownership is more than an investment; it's a commitment to family and community. That's why Webster is working with borrowers to keep that dream alive for Connecticut residents during difficult times. It's also why Webster is pleased to sponsor CPTV's live town meeting on this important topic."

United Way of Connecticut President Rick Porth said, "As mortgage foreclosures continue to increase in Connecticut, it is essential that residents know where to turn for help. United Way 2-1-1 is poised to offer assistance to residents statewide who are struggling with foreclosure issues and consequently may need help with other basic needs as well. United Way 2-1-1 is therefore pleased to partner with CPTV in an endeavor that will help more people get connected with the mortgage foreclosure assistance they need."

About United Way 2-1-1
United Way 2-1-1 is an integrated system of help via the telephone - a single source for information about community services, referrals to human services, and crisis intervention. United Way 2-1-1is accessed toll-free from anywhere in Connecticut by simply dialing 2-1-1. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Multilingual call specialists and TDD access is available.

Connecticut residents call 2-1-1 for many different types of help. Professional call specialists help callers with such complex issues as substance abuse, gambling, domestic violence programs, suicide prevention, financial problems, mortgage foreclosure assistance and much more. Other callers may simply be looking for volunteer opportunities. By dialing 2-1-1, a caller is connected with a 2-1-1 call specialist who helps the caller assess their situation and find the community services in their area that can assist them. Resources may also be accessed via the internet at www.211ct.org.
Go http://www.infoline.org/InformationLibrary/Documents/Avoiding%20Foreclosure.asp
link for foreclosure assistance page.

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