The federal government is changing some rules governing its Home...

The federal government is changing some rules governing its Home Affordable Refinance Program. The changes are for borrowers current on their loans. Credit: iStock

Suffolk residents behind on their mortgages are invited to a free seminar Oct. 27 on their rights, the foreclosure process and what to do when they're served with a legal summons.

In organizing the event, the Suffolk County Bar Association wants to reach out to homeowners in the early stages of delinquency, before they go to the mandated court settlement conference with the lender, said Barry Smolowitz, coordinator of the bar's pro bono services on foreclosure. Giving them the facts early on prepares them better mentally and helps them set up realistic plans, he said.

"It's a different stress point in their lives," Smolowitz said. "People who are in the process of being served and are in foreclosure have given up a lot of hope."

The seminar will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the bar's offices, 560 Wheeler Rd., Hauppauge. It will also be webcast live. To enroll for the seminar or webcast, call the bar at 631-234-5511 ext. 223.

The seminar is open to Suffolk homeowners who are not already in the bar's foreclosure help program and who are not due to go to court until after Oct. 27. A panel of five attorneys will answer questions during the seminar.

Those who cannot make the seminar or who are in a more advanced stage of foreclosure are encouraged to call for a one-on-one appointment with a pro bono attorney at the bar number.

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