E-News - Spring 2017

ReverseMortgagesFighting for Seniors with Reverse Mortgages

Earlier this year, the Center helped 91-year-old reverse mortgage borrower  Charles McBroom of  Stratford save his home from foreclosure.  See Mr. McBroom's story in our new video:
Fighting Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures: Mr. McBroom's Story

In recent years, the Center has seen an increase in Connecticut seniors facing foreclosure on reverse mortgages.  A reverse mortgage is a loan that enables older homeowners to access the equity in their homes in the form of monthly or lump-sum payments.  The homeowner does not pay back the loan while living in the home; instead, the loan is repaid after the borrower moves out or passes away.  

While they can make sense for some borrowers, reverse mortgages have sometimes been marketed using misleading advertising, and often contain complex and confusing terms.  In December, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action against three reverse mortgage companies for deceptive advertising. 
The Center's experience has also found that some lenders are unwilling to work with elderly homeowners to address common reverse mortgage issues.  

To learn more about the Center's foreclosure prevention work and resources for homeowners, click here

For more stories like Mr. McBroom's, check out our 2016 Annual Report.  Special thanks to Defining Studios for their work on this video.
DanburyRACaseCenter Secures $125,000 Settlement for Danbury Client Denied Reasonable Accommodation
Handicap sign showing reserved parking, against the law to park there.     Note  Soft Focus at 100 , best at smaller sizes Earlier this spring, the Center settled a complaint against the Danbury Housing Authority (DHA) on behalf of client Laura Brothers, alleging that the authority violated fair housing laws when it denied Ms. Brothers' request for a reasonable accommodation.  The complaint was settled for a total of $125,000.

After struggling to find parking near her unit on a regular basis, Ms. Brothers, who uses a wheelchair, had requested as a reasonable accommodation that the DHA make an exception to its first-come, first-served parking policy and assign her a reserved space close to her apartment.  After the DHA denied her request twice, Ms. Brothers was referred to the Center for help.  

The Danbury Housing Authority settled without admitting liability.  Ms. Brothers recently shared with the Center that she was able to use funds from the settlement to purchase a home of her own.  Read the full press release here

Fair housing laws require housing providers to make reasonable changes to rules or practices that can allow a person with a disability to better access and enjoy their home.  If you or someone you know needs a reasonable accommodation, try the Center's online Disability Letter Generator to create your request, or contact us at (860) 247-4400 for assistance.
AdvocacyCFPBAdvocating for Consumer Protections in DC

Staff Attorney Loraine Martinez (right) and Kate Cohen from ConnPIRG with Senator Richard Blumenthal
On May 10th, CFHC Staff Attorney Loraine Martinez joined 137 consumer advocates from 36 states for Consumer Lobby Day on Capitol Hill.  The event was organized by the Consumer Federation of America.  

Advocates met with five Connecticut lawmakers, including Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy's staff, and urged them to continue to reject legislation (specifically the Financial CHOICE Act) that would weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)'s ability to stop unfair and predatory financial practices.  

Learn more about advocacy efforts to protect the CFPB here.

Nearly 200 guests attended our 9th Annual Mildred & Richard Loving Civil Rights Award Dinner on May 4th in Hartford.  This year's honorees included investigative reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones - who brought the crowd to their feet with a searing keynote speech - CT Students for a Dream, The Open Hearth, Gordon & Rees, Dave Elliott of Day Pitney (in memoriam), and the winners of the 2017 Fair Housing Poster Contest. 

The event raised over $20,000 to support the Center's work. Thank you to our sponsors, our MC Jacques Lamarre, and to everyone who attended and donated!
In the News

Lawmakers consider regulations for 'sober houses' ( Meriden Record-Journal, February 22)

CFHC featured on El Show de Analeh (Univision, January 28)

Upcoming Events

Foreclosure Prevention Clinic (Free)
Wednesday, July 19th
Stamford Government Center, 6-8:30pm

What We're Reading Now 

by Richard Rothstein

Resources from the Center
Step-by-step help to create a request for a reasonable accommodation or modification that can be given to a housing provider.

Free guides to help CT renters and homebuyers explore their housing options and understand their fair housing rights (online or print). 

Free manual to help homeowners understand their rights and what to expect during the foreclosure process (online or print).
Information and educational materials on the fair housing laws. 

Convenient online training videos to help recipients of federal funds, such as housing providers and local officials, understand AFFH obligations.

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860-247-4400 | Toll Free 888-247-4401 |  info@ctfairhousing.org | www.ctfairhousing.org