Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2016
MovingForwardNew Moving Forward Connecticut Renters' Guide 
Just in time for the busy summer moving season, the Center has released its new statewide version of our   Moving Forward Guide  to help renters  navigate the process of finding a new home in the neighborhood of their choice.  The Guide also highlights fair housing tips to help renters recognize and report housing discrimination if they experience it.

Learn more and order your free copy here, or download it in English or Spanish Would your organization like to distribute the Moving Forward   Renters' Guide to clients/customers?  Email moving@ctfairhousing.org or call (860) 856-5496 for free bulk order requests.
FHNews HU D Issues New Guidance on Criminal Background
holding_house_key.jpg In April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new guidance aimed at reducing barriers to housing for individuals with criminal records. 

Due to the racial disparities of the criminal justice system, blanket policies that ban anyone with a criminal record from housing may be considered discriminatory due to the disparate impact they have on people of color. 

Click here  to read the new HUD guidance in full, and be sure to check out NPR's  excellent breakdown  here .   The Center will offer a training on the new guidance at the Connecticut Housing Coalition's Annual Conference on September 22 .  
The Center recently settled a complaint against the property management and real estate group that owns and operates several apartment communities in Stamford's Harbor Point development.  The complaint, alleging housing discrimination based on race, was settled for $40,000.  

The settlement came after an investigation by the Center found evidence that prospective tenants who were African-American were treated less favorably than prospective white tenants of otherwise similar backgrounds and income.  

The Center represented two prospective tenants of the Harbor Point apartments, Tamica McKune and Matthew Notice, in the case.  The respondents were Building and Land Technology Corp., Prime Real Estate, LLC, Two Yale & Towne, LLC, Five Yale & Towne, LLC, HPC-Five, LLC, and One Commons Park, LLC.  The companies settled without admitting liability.

Read the full press release here;
coverage in Stamford Advocate here
ForeclosureNewsMortgage Servicers' Failed Technology Hurts Homeowners

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which regulates the mortgage industry, released a special report examining technology problems at mortgage servicers.  "Mortgage servicers can't hide behind their bad computer systems or outdated technology," said Richard Cordray, CFPB Director, in a press release issued by the agency. "There are no excuses for not following federal rules."  

The CFPB's findings are consistent with the Center's observations in our work with distressed homeowners here in Connecticut.   The report documents numerous violations of federal  mortgage servicing rules due to deficient technology and broken-down processes, including:  
  • Sending late, incorrect, or deceptive information regarding a loan modification;
  • Giving borrowers "the runaround" when their loan is transferred to a new servicer;
  • Delaying a permanent loan modification after a borrower has completed a trial plan;
  • Making unnecessary or duplicative requests for financial documents in the loss mitigation process;
  • Failing to honor in-place loan modifications or trial plans.
These errors, primarily caused by servicers losing critical data when they transfer loans amongst themselves, are magnified by a lack of proper training, testing, and auditing of their systems.  Such mistakes can have dire consequences for borrowers, placing many at risk of foreclosure again through no fault of their own.

NewAdditionsNew Additions to the Center
The Center welcomes  David Lavery  as a new Staff Attorney for foreclosure prevention & fair lending. David most recently worked as an Associate at Beckett Law, LLC, managing that firm's foreclosure defense practice, and previously litigated foreclosure and real estate cases in New York.    "I look forward to working with the Center to improve access to financial services for marginalized groups," he says.   David earned his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law. 

The Center is also proud to announce four recent additions to our Board of Directors:
  • Barris Malcolm, UConn School of Social Work
  • Ann Means, Nonprofit and Business consultant
  • Andraya Pulaski, Day Pitney
  • Abena Sarpong, Aetna; JD candidate, Western New England University 
All bring impressive skills, experience, and passion to the Center.  Welcome!
Quick Links:

2015 Annual Report
Click here to read client stories and learn what the Center accomplished with your support in 2015.

8th Annual Loving Civil Rights Award Events
Click here for a recap, and  check out photos from the community conversation here and the award dinner here.

Free information and guidance from attorneys. 
Next clinic: July 20th in Norwalk.  Details and Full Schedule
Request a reasonable accommodation or modification from a housing provider.
Convenient online training videos on AFFH for recipients of federal funds
Information and materials on the fair housing laws

Donate to the Center
With your support, we work to fight housing discrimination and ensure that all people have equal access to housing opportunities in our state. 

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