BRIDGEPORT - U.S. Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) held public forums in Stamford and Bridgeport Saturday to help Connecticut residents deal with the troubled housing market.

The forums drew packed crowds in both cities. Shays set up the forums with the purpose of giving homeowners information on what to do when facing foreclosure.

?There?s a lot of people who can work out their challenges with banks,? says Shays. ?They need to get counseling, so part of this is to let them know where they can get counseling.?

According to the congressman, many of the state?s homeowners will be nailed by the mortgage crisis this year. Shays says at least 20,000 Connecticut homeowners will pay increased rates in 2008, which could add several hundred dollars to a monthly mortgage.