CEI’s homebuyer education program is certified and compliant with Maine hoMEworks to provide comprehensive, 8-hour programs throughout the state. Participating in home buyer education results in lower delinquency and foreclosure rates as new homeowners feel better prepared and equipped to take on this new and exciting chapter in their lives! In-person classes are CEI’s preferred method of delivering homebuyer education, but in Maine it can be challenging for some participants to attend classes in person.
CEI has partnered with eHomeAmerica to offer comprehensive, Maine hoMeworks approved homebuyer education online, at participants’ own pace and convenience. The eHomeAmerica offering is the nation’s premier online homebuyer education program.
CEI also offers an additional online homebuyer education option specifically for Fannie Mae’s HomeReady mortgage product through FrameWork. This class is a requirement for Fannie Mae’s product to confidently serve creditworthy borrowers with low to moderate incomes. Again, this should only be used in conjunction with HomeReady.
One-on-One Pre- and Post- Purchase Counseling
In addition to group and online homebuyer education classes, CEI offers individual pre and port purchase counseling. These services offer prospective buyers a chance to meet with a HUD-certified counselor to discuss in detail their situation, challenges, and goals in embarking on the home buying process. This counseling can be done in person or over the phone and is completely free of charge. Also, similar in structure to pre-purchase counseling, this free service gives new homebuyers additional opportunity to review their closing documents, HUD-1 statements, and get continued guidance as they transition into homeownership.
HECM/Reverse Mortgage Counseling
CEI is one of the few providers of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counseling in Maine. Any homeowners aged 62 or greater who are considering a reverse mortgage to access existing equity in their home will be required to complete a comprehensive counseling session by a HUD-certified HECM counselor before beginning the process. This is traditionally a 90+ minute session which can be done either face-to-face or via telephone.
Default Management and Foreclosure Prevention
(Cumberland, Sagadahoc, and Lincoln Counties)
Many households continue to face economic hardship. If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, are in foreclosure or fear that you may be soon, CEI can help. Our counselors are certified to assist homeowners at any stage of mortgage delinquency or foreclosure in Maine. Many homeowners have already tried to work with their lenders and may be frustrated by that experience. Don’t give up! Most of the time your bank does not want your home. There are many options for homeowners, but the process of default and foreclosure is often a scary and confusing one. Regardless of your circumstance or location, please know that there is no-cost assistance available for struggling homeowners from HUD-certified agencies.
Financial capability coaching & student loan advising
Financial Capability is defined as the combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that a person needs to make sound financial decisions that support well-being. CEI has begun offering this coaching protocol to any Maine individuals and families who feel that they could benefit from assistance in financial goal-setting, budgeting, and access to possible resources to help them achieve those goals. This is a long-term program which examines behaviors, patterns, and situations which may impede financial progress and security. As part of this, CEI counselors are also certified to advise clients on if there are opportunities to reduce or rework existing student loan debt to assist one’s overall budget.