ADVOCACY AND REFERRAL
CSN is a helping hand rather than a hand-out. CSN helps our clients within CSN’s service area to assist with gathering and sharing of information and finding solutions through knowledge and services. CSN educates our clientele so they can improve their standard of living in a dignified manner.
PRE-PURCHASE FIRST TIME HOME BUYER EDUCATION
Pre-purchase First Time Homebuyer Education Courses are offered for all communities in Massachusetts and are not a community specific service.
FACE TO FACE CLASSES, WEBINAR COURSES, AND ONLINE HYBRID COURSES FACE TO FACE CLASSES Community Service Network, Inc. ‘s next face to face course is scheduled for Fall in October and November on Thursdays, Wednesday and Monday – October 26, 2023; November 2, 2023; November 8, 2023, and November 13, 2023.
ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE PRE-REGISTERED MAY ATTEND THIS COURSE. (Registrations must be received by noon Friday, October 20, 2023.)
(Class registration may close prior to the date listed above if class is full.)
Each of the four sessions will be held from 6:00PM to 9:30PM.
Cost of the class is $50.00 individual or co-residing couple (household) taking the course together; which may be paid online by requesting an invoice or by check mailed to CSN (136 Elm Street, Stoneham, MA 02180) prior to the registration deadline.
All Face to Face and Webinar Courses ....The course is four sessions and is designed to help you learn about obtaining a mortgage, your credit, preparing for your down payment, getting ready to buy a house, working with your team of professionals, how to find “YOUR” house and how to find the best deal for you. This course does include Lanlord-Tenant for Multi-family purchases. The cost to participants is $50.00 per person (household) or co-residing couple for this course. Upon completion of the four class sessions and submission of required assignments, attendees will be awarded Pre-Purchase First Time Home Buyer course completion certificates. Certificates are valid for two years from the course completion date. Participants must be preregistered for the course. Classes are limited to 20-25 participants on a first come first served basis. Questions email firstname.lastname@example.org or call CSN at (781)438-9254
ONLINE HYBRID PRE-PURCHASE HOMEBUYER COURSE (Hybrid Course-Online Modules plus 1 follow up session required) In Partnership with FRAMEWORK Smart Homeownership Starts Here Buying a home is a big deal, whether you're doing it for the first time or getting back into the ever changing market. When you educate yourself for smart home ownership, you'll navigate every step of the process with confidence. If you are looking for education to understand the home buying process or you are in process of obtaining a loan to purchase a home, and you are unable to participate in one of our in-person or webinar Pre-purchase Home Buyer courses, CSN offers an online hybrid version of the Pre-purchase Homebuyer Course in partnership with FRAMEWORK. This course consists of 7 lessons each with multiple topics and its own quiz that must be passed with an average score of 80% or above. Once finished with all seven lessons and assessments, participants must complete a current and a future-"projected" once in your new home budget and submit them as well as, participate in a follow-up appointment (in order to complete all additional curriculum plan for up to 3 hours for a single family; plan for up to 3.5 hours for a condominium; and plan for up to 5 hours for multi-family home purchase- depending upon participant questions) with one of CSN's Home Buyer Counselors either online or at the CSN's offices. (CSN's office hours are Monday through Thursday 9:00am to 4:00pm & Friday 9:00am to noon.) It can take up to a week or two from when you complete the online component to complete the face to face component please plan accordingly. For the Online Hybrid Course you must register and pay Frameworks for the online portion of the course which costs $75.00 per person or per couple/household (2 adults) . Your follow-up appointment for single family or a condo purchase will cost $50 payable to CSN by cash or check at your face to face appointment or online if follow up session is completed as a video conference. Purchasing a multi family home ....You can add an additional certification for multi-family homes for an additional $25 per person or per couple/household (2 adults) registering together. (Also, plan on an additional hour plus for your follow-up appointment.) If you are purchasing a multi-family home with an MHP loan product you may be required to complete an additional one-on-one counseling session with an MHP approved individual counselor. (Completion of the online course modules, additional assignments, and attending the follow-up appointment is required for course completion.) Certificates are valid for two years from completion.
IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A FINANCING CONTINGENCY DATE AND/OR A CONSUMMATION/CLOSING DATE AND IT IS LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AWAY PLEASE CALL AND VERIFY APPOINTMENT AVAILABILITY PRIOR TO SIGNING UP FOR THE COURSE 781-438-9254. To sign up go to: https://csninc.frameworkhomeownership.org
FORECLOSURE PREVENTION ASSISTANCE
CSN’s housing counselor works with homeowners living in CSN’s coverage area who are in danger of foreclosure.
The level of hands on involvement depends greatly upon the situation and the homeowner.
CSN will help the homeowner prepare a budget, a loss mitigation package for their lender, read and review hardship statements, and guide the homeowner through the process of applying for a loan modification.
CSN discusses all of the options available with the homeowner and work with the homeowner to reach the best outcome possible for the individual household.
Massachusetts.gov foreclosure resources
www.mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp or Call: 2-1-1
REFINANCE AND LOAN COUNSELING
Counseling regarding the various products on the market and the process for refinancing.
CSN's housing counselor will discuss the pros and cons of refinancing with the homeowner. CSN's housing counselor will assist the client in understanding the loan and loan terms the client is potentially going to close on.
CSN will work with the client to create a budget to see if refinancing is the best option or if there may be other ways of dealing with the situation.
CSN will help homeowners with credit repair suggestions so that the homeowner can obtain the best possible loan.
CSN will also discuss alternative loan types and payment schedules.
REVERSE MORTGAGE COUNSELING
Counseling regarding the various products and process for getting a HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) or Reverse Mortgage.
The role of the counselor is to make sure that the potential borrower understands what a reverse mortgage is so that they can make the best decision for themselves. The counselor cannot make a decision for a client, but will work to make sure that the client has the tools necessary to make the decision for themself.
The counseling process explains the key features of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) also known as a reverse mortgage in general by covering the costs, benefits and financial implications of these loans. It also provides information on alternatives to a HECM that maybe more beneficial to the client.
CSN provides clients with independent and neutral information. Neither CSN nor the counselor has any stake whatsoever in whether or not clients choose to go forward with a reverse mortgage; nor will CSN or the counselor endorse or recommend any specific type of reverse mortgage loan or lender.
CSN does not maintain a list of lenders, we refer everyone to the list maintained by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/lender/lenderlist and/or the list maintained by the Massachusetts Division of Banks, which shows all lenders currently licensed in Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/banking-and-finance/loans-and-mortgages/education/reverse-mortgage-loans/approved-reverse-mortgage-lenders-and-loan.html.
In addition to CSN, there are several other counseling agencies in the Commonwealth. The Executive Office of Elder Affairs maintains a list of all HUD Approved HECM/Reverse Mortgage Counselors in Massachusetts at: http://www.mass.gov/elders/housing/reverse-mortgage-counselors.html.
CSN recommends that consumers interested in reverse mortgages read the National Counsel on Aging’s “Using your Home to Stay at Home” booklet, which can be found at https://www.ncoa.org/resources/use-your-home-to-stay-at-home/.
HOUSING SEARCH INFORMATION
CSN directs renters to various websites and places where they can find appropriate housing.
If looking to apply for subsidized housing you can find a list of all of the housing authorities in the Commonwealth, including their addresses and phone numbers:
The common application for state aided housing is CHAMP (Common Housing Application for Massachusetts Programs)
If you are a senior and/or disabled, it is recommended to specifically request Senior/Disabled Housing
Affordable Housing-Below Market Rate
Affordable housing apartments or below market rent - can be found at MassHousing.com, specifically at
and on the Commonwealth’s rental assistance page on Mass.gov at http://www.mass.gov/hed/housing/rental-assistance/
Market Rate Rentals
A few options for searching include:
www.wickedlocal.com (the local newspapers)
The Fair Housing Act applies to all landlords. Please see: http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/your-rights/civil-rights/housing/housing-discrimination.html
To report a fair housing violation
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