By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Are you having a difficult time paying your mortgage? While the economy is slowly improving, it’s not happening fast enough for those at risk of losing their homes.

3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds that, often, the programs designed to help are confusing and hard to navigate.

“Foreclosures are on the rise, and in fact in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, they are two of the highest states in the country where they are starting to rise very rapidly,” says Patty Hasson, President of Clarifi, a non-profit credit and housing counseling agency.

Hasson believes that trying to get banks to modify or to lower your mortgage payments is easier said than done. Many homeowners fending off foreclosure spend too much time supplying lenders with paperwork that gets lost or never reviewed.

“There is still an issue around getting a response in a timely manner as to whether or not a payment plan has been developed would be accepted,” Hasson says.

That’s why she suggests that homeowners don’t try to go through that process alone.

Hasson says, “We’ve been working through this process for a number of years now. We know a little bit more [about] what servicers are looking for. While there are no guarantees, we can help put that package together and get you to the right person at that mortgage company that will hopefully get you to a solution.”

With that in mind, 3 On Your Side will be holding a Save Your Home phone bank Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Housing counselors from Clarifi will be in our studios to take viewer calls and offer suggestions on how to save your home based on your individual financial situation.

The Clarifi counselors have the most up-to-date information on mortgage modification programs, as well as what state and federal assistance may be available to you.

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