Anyone facing the threat of foreclosure needs to act now to protect himself, according to financial industry specialist Christopher Meek of Stamford. And that's the philosophy behind his nonprofit STARTNow!, which offers counseling to those threatened with losing their home.
"Everyone's struggling now. It allows me to be able to help people in my community," Meek said.
On Saturday, STARTNow! will present a program for at risk homeowners at the Yerwood Center, 90 Fairfield Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"It's for anybody who's entered foreclosure or thinks they might be walking down that path," said Meeks, a trader with Goldman Sachs. Loan modification and other potential remedies will be addressed by bank-affiliated counselors and mediation specialists from state agencies.
Meek held a similar event, his first one, at the center in April 2009. It was so successful, with three dozen families helped, that a second event was held the following month. The program's popularity led to Meek being asked to join the Yerwood Center Board of Directors. It also served as the catalyst for creating STARTNow!, which addresses factors that help families and individuals become self-sufficient. START stands for Start Taking Action & Responsibility Together.
Meek says this is a good time to seek foreclosure alternatives.
"The banks have become much more accommodating. They've loosened their restrictions a little bit," said Meek, adding that policies the Obama Administration put into effect last year have helped banks become more amenable to at-risk homeowners.
Financial institutions at Saturday's event include JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, CitiMortgage, Bank of America, Peoples United, Webster and New Alliance banks. Judicial mediation specialists and representatives from Money Management International and Affordable Housing Centers of America also will be present.
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