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Counseling available for homeowners at risk of foreclosure

The Valley Community Development Corporation is currently offering free, one-on-one counseling for homeowners in Hampshire County who feel that they are at risk of foreclosure or need help with financial management.

The counseling, which is confidential, is designed to help homeowners understand the options available to them and set up action plans that are specific to their particular situation.

“It’s tailored to each household’s needs,” said Donna Cabana, the organization’s homeownership counselor. “Everybody is in a different situation, so it’s better to do it one-on-one. Some people are dealing with utilities, student loans, credit card debt, some are underemployed. We offer whatever it is they feel they need help with,” she said.

The program was started on Dec. 31, 2012, as the result of a grant from the Northwestern District Attorney’s office and, according to Cabana, has seen about 20 residents come in for counseling since New Year’s Day.

The program also works with homeowners who are in need of changes to their mortgage or have had one in the past.

“It’s not just for people who need modifications,” said Cabana. “We make sure people who have already had modifications stay on track.” Formed in 1988, the Valley CDC is located at 30 Market St. in Northampton, and works to address the needs of low- to moderate-income people. The organization offers education and assistance to first-time homebuyers, small business assistance and affordable housing development.

According to its website, the Valley CDC has developed over 180 units of affordable rental and ownership housing and provided assistance to over 1500 businesses to date.

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